Probability for Managers

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Probability is inherent in all management action, though more often in intuitive form than as a formal and conscious method. The essence of management is to take decisions for the development and deployment of human, material, financial and intangible resources…

Introduction


The growing uncertainties under which managers must function, is a feature of the conventional environment (Daum, 2004). The aspect of uncertainty is exacerbated by information overload. Studies confirm that the information available to managers exceeds human capacity to process and to use such information. This makes for very difficult operating systems for managers. A third aspect of management practice is that most processes involve groups and teams. Even where final authority rests with an individual, the varying capabilities of managers to focus and to absorb information, requires that a common platform is created, so that each participant can express his or her views. Dissent is often the result of opposing parties basing their opinions on different scenarios, which they think is probable. Scientific application of probability theories has therefore a watershed role in building common understanding, if not consensus in teams that run firms.
Formal probability techniques have been used in research functions of firms for a long time. Market Research, Clinical Trials and all other experiments to study the safety and efficacy performances of new products, use probability methodology. Random number generation and use, sampling, determination of significance and confidence levels all depend on probability science. ...
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