Formulation and Identification Running head: PROBLEM FORMULATION AND IDENTIFICATION


Problem Formulation and Identification Donna Jones, Marvin Padgett, Christina Rose and Ronda Weilacker University of Phoenix Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making MGT350 David Ball August 23, 2009

Formulation and Identification Abstract needed here…. Decision-making styles vary from business to business because of the complexity of the business. The four most used styles within our groups organizations are Point of View


Method, Collective-Participative, Logical and Rational. The advantages of using different methods of decision-making include team members come to rely on each other for support; multiple ways to address the problem, team members can voice their opinions and the ability to use facts to solve the problems. Disadvantages to these problem-solving techniques include that they may not work all the time with children, team member’s suggestions and ideas may not be considered and some methods cannot be used within all departments.

Intro…. The most prevalent way of problem solving which is used by team member JP’s organization is the point of view method and running a close second is the assumption method; which is true, regarding the upper echelon of the organization. The rest of the department just about every type of problem solving and formulation is used since there are so many officers within the department and each one is charged with making individual decisions. JP’s problem solving technique involves applying logic, thinking of every possible outcome before directly applying a solution to a problem. The administration chooses not to interact with the rest of the organization or they limit their interaction if possible. Theories and management practices are based off of assumptions of what the rest of the department is doing. There is a large problem with the

Formulation and Identification point of view, meaning the administration will often take issues at face value without investigation to the validity of the situation; which is aggravating for many employees. The behavior of the administration deteriorates the employees’ faith in the company


which adds to existing problems and employee concerns. A positive affect of the behavior is the regular officers have to rely on each other more. In short, each officer has to rely on their own method of problem solving that works most conducive for them in order to come to a solution, when that fails employees turn to one another for support and sometimes to apply a different method. Team member DJ stated in her organization most decisions are CollectiveParticipative. The manager of her department involves the group by having weekly team meetings. The issues of the department are discussed. Each member of the department can offer his or her opinions, suggestions and ideas that can affect the department; however, the manager makes the final decision. A decision which was made by a manager using the Collective-Participative method was for each person in a group to be cross-train so everyone could perform each other’s duties. Using the Collective-participative method seemed to be a good idea and was good for business because when one member was out another could fill in. The manager shared her suggestions about the new changes then asked for our opinions and suggestions. A group of employees held a brainstorming session to see what the pros and cons of the decision would be and the affect on jobs. One concern was the idea in which job performance would slow down because of having to train people on different procedures.

Formulation and Identification The group discovered cross training other team members was a good idea although the timing was bad; the company was engaged in a buy out action. Many members of the


group were nervous and upset by not knowing the future of our business and were afraid of being let go. The group decided adding more stress to an already stressful situation was not good decision at the present time for the department. The group wrote an email to the manager which explained the thoughts, concerns and itemized the issues within the group. The manager eventually decided to pursue cross training employees. The Collective-Participative style of decision-making is best for the company when team member’s suggestions and ideas can be helpful to the company by either correcting an existing problem or in producing a profit for the company. By taking employee’s suggestions and incorporate them into the business makes the employee’s feel part of the organization and an important part of the department. If the manager is going to take the time to get the employee’s input then the information gathered should be considered not discarded. Team member CR has experienced using different decision making styles in disciplining children. Child discipline is a problem which child-care professionals deal with on a daily basis. Since, each child is different; discipline can be a difficult task. While many different thinking styles exist to think through a problem, the styles most often used are logical, significant and fairness. The logical solution would be telling the misbehaving child his or her actions are wrong and not to do it again. The logical style would be effective, if the children listened.

Formulation and Identification


However, some children do not adhere to direct orders. To gain acceptance from the child significant and fairness thinking styles should be implemented. Significant thinking focuses on what is important to the situation and to the individuals whom are involved (Paul & Elder, 2006). The child care professional to find out what is important to the child by observing the child or children who misbehave and require discipline. The combination of knowledge pared with the childcare personnel wishes to happen helps them decide on the appropriate course of action. Fairness based decisions are necessary because the children could say “but that’s not fair” or another child did the same thing and didn’t get the same consequence. Asking questions which are fair based on the inappropriate behavior; or justifying a way to discipline a child in comparison to another consequence given to the same act of inappropriate behavior from another child will help make fair decisions (Paul & Elder, 2006). The different styles of thinking are valuable ways to approach discipline problems although the styles have a weakness. When children are involved; solutions are not guaranteed to work all the time. Children are constantly growing, learning and changing. Childcare providers want children to continue to exponentially grow and learn but they also want them to do this with the accepted behavior and morals in place. A child who continually requires discipline may begin to dislike coming to daycare or may act out further toward the childcare provider; an adjustment is needed. Though similar situations may occur; the thinking styles logical, significant and fairness are the best possible pathways to approach the solutions regarding discipline.

Formulation and Identification The rational decision making style is the most common style used by the management staff within the organization of Team member RW. After interviewing a manager, Team member RW found the manager who was interviewed, makes rational decisions based on correct historical and real time data and the current state of a given


situation. She stated being in a managerial position demands being logical and precise in making decisions coupled with being flexible to handle change. Brainstorming and a Criteria Matrix are all tools and techniques which are used in the organization Team member RW works for. The organization will hold several conference calls each day based on what issue has to be worked out engaging several department managers, IT support, Telecom managers, vice presidents and call center Resource planning coordinators. The strength of the company’s style of problem formation and solving lies in the procedures which are in place for each center to follow in order to be consistent across the enterprise. The favorable aspect of the rational style is the collection of data which aids in problem identification. The process of being rational in making decisions can aid in creating a problem statement to describe the situation in detail to stakeholders in a manner which addresses their point of view.


Formulation and Identification


References Learning Team C personal work experiences submitted by Donna Jones, Marvin Padgett, Christina Rose and Ronda Weilacker. Retreived on August 20, 2009. Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life, 2e. Retrieved from etaid=28bbfd96-c453-40bb-aad6-e4cc3efd49be&assetdataid=13fa0db4-cc92426c-8757-ee8bef370779.