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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Decision Making: Objective Vs Subjective

Decision making becomes an essential trait as one grows in his personal and professional life. It is this quality which differentiates an individual from the rest of his/her peers. The more the scope of the consequences of a decision, the more analysis required before making such a decision. Right from an individual, who chooses the food he eats to a prime minister or a president, who runs a country, decisions made are going to affect not only him, but also many other people. For example, in India and most other countries, the decisions made by a head of a family, affects the entire family and the way which they live and grow. He/She has to make a lot of decisions on various issues of his/her family like place to live, in which a lot of factors have to be considered, namely clean environment, water facility, educated neighbours around them for the children to grow, availability of medical facilities etc.  Similarly, consequences of a decision made by a prime minister or a president are going to impact the entire country. For example, employment programmes like MGNREGA, infrastructure programmes like PMGSY, etc. A manager of India Inc, needs to assess his people on an annual basis which is going to affect the career of all his sub ordinates. So, he needs to be very careful in his assessment and produce an accurate report.

How Decisions Might Go Wrong?

Having said that, then how to make a better decision, considering all the factors and make sure to save the dependents from the negative consequences of a bad decision? It can be achieved by making Objective decisions rather that Subjective decisions.

Objective Vs Subjective Decision Making:

I think this can be better explained by taking India Inc, i.e.., the Indian Industries and the performance assessment done in those work places. 

Everyone of us come from a different geographical and cultural background. In a workplace, one may be from Tamil Nadu, the other may be from Bihar and one more could be from Rajasthan or Arunachal Pradesh. Each one of them would be influenced by the society in which they were brought up, the cultural values that were imparted to them, the virtues acquired through one's own experiences by interacting with the society. All these would have made him a person who would be posted as a manager in a company and there is more likely that these factors might influence his decisions in the performance assessment of his subordinates which might result in a so called "Subjective" decision making. For example, if a subordinate is more vocal and tries to show his visibility to the team and to the management, it does not mean that he is a better performer. If his manager is influenced by a preconceived thought that "All People who are vocal and confident are good performers", then there is more likely a chance that a poor performer moving up his career quicker than a good performer, just because he is able to deceive people by pretending to be a smart worker.

On the other hand, if the manager is not influenced by all those factors and he is strict and impartial in his decisions, then he would analyse the records of each and every sub ordinate like, the number of  problems solved by him in the project and various other records, which prove his contributions beneficial to the project and the whole team. A well informed and judicious decision has to be made by the manager considering all such factors, with a clean statistics. This approach is called "Objective" decision making.

This not only applies to industries, but also to each and every one of us, even in our personal lives. If you want to buy a mobile phone, do not buy it just because your friend bought it! Do a proper analysis and make sure it is worth your money!

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