- Psychologist Barry Schwartz describes decision makers of main two types Maximizers and Satisficers. (2005) Maximizers try to make the perfect decisions. They research, scrutinize reports, discuss alternatives , look for new options and generally agonize over making exactly the right or the best possible decision…
they make their decision and do not wait for more options or alternatives. Thus they generally look for answers which are good enough and may not be the best.
Although leadership and management functions vary widely from organization to organization, the function of decision making is common to all. Managers are always taking a decision , small or big and all these are important in the sense that they affect the individual, team or overall performance of an organization. All people have their own style of decision making and they also differ in the amount of information they use in decision making. Some reach conclusions from just a few facts while some take their own time by gathering and studying and analyzing large amounts of information. The Figure below shows the difference between the low and high information users. It shows that early in the process, the knowledge is going from zero to something greater and this information is most likely to be important. Thus Satisficers, make the decision at point B, when they have learned enough while Maximizers, keep evaluating information until they simply are learning nothing new about the problem.
Simon (1955, 1956, 1957) introduced an important distinction between maximizing and satisficing as choice-making strategies. In maximizing decision making - the idea is to find the best possible solution and requires an exhaustive search of all possibilities. To satisfice is to look for good enough possibility and stopping when this good enough solution is found. In decision-making, satisficing explains the tendency to select the first option that meets a given need or select the option that seems to address most needs rather than the "optimal" solution. Generally managers go for Satisficing decisions when the decisions are of small significance. Moreover, in daya to day functioning, many situations arise where they have take a decision quickly. In such acses also. A satificing decision making is made. A manager cannot wait for all alternatives or study each and every report to when he is facing time constraints. It is extremely cost - ineffective to take lots of information into consideration for day - to-day decisions. It is not that Satisficers have low expectations, rather they accept that there is more than one option that will satisfy them. And Once they are able to find an option that meets their initial criteria they are content to conclude their search.
On the other hand, senior mangers who need to take into account the objectives and the goals of the company, need lots of information and analysis before they can take decisions. At senior levels, it is required and essential to act as a maximizer and try to review each and every alternative before arriving at a decision. This is because a decision at this level has far reaching consequences on the company's policies and direction. They are the ones taking the high stakes decision and thus keep on looking for the best of all the options, establishing new criteria as they go. Maximizers may do better objectively, but they do worse subjectively. They feel worse about their decisions and are less happy with the results than the satisficers.
Therefore , in the long run, that is for maximizing profits and building strategies foe overall business performance, managers generally act cautious and ...
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