Diversity in decision making for competitive advantage : conceptualising the impact diversity of ideas has on decision making efficiency

Grobler, Jan Dirk (2013-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis poses the premise that diversity influences competitive advantage. Although a direct link may not initially be apparent, by first exploring the impact of decision making on competitive advantage and then establishing the effect of diversity on decision making, it is possible to stimulate a competitive advantage. Competitiveness is investigated by looking at how service providers with the same solution participate in their market. The understanding of competitiveness is focused on complexity caused by intense competition, highly standardised service requests, organisational culture and the relationships between individuals and their organisation. The decision of participants on how to compete in the market is explored. By understanding the definition of customer value and competition it is possible to determine when problem context and participant relationships will impact on the complexity of decision making. Critical heuristics provides further insight into organisational decision making. Examining the origin and reason for decisions at both physical and philosophical levels reveals the readiness potential for action. Philosophically, the age old concepts of free will and pre-determined outcomes are debated in order to provide insight into individual beliefs regarding decision making. The concept of social construct and learning, both individual and organisational, is explored to show the importance of socially determined reality and learning. The ability to interact and to learn from interactions is investigated to highlight the role of risk during the decision making process. The notion that it is possible to make a decision without being aware is investigated. Exploring the contribution of sense making at individual and collective levels highlighting organisational decision making dynamics as one of the steps to achieve indirect decision making. Categories of complexity in the organisational culture help define patterns in decision making that may be utilised to accelerate and strengthen decision. Eleven common issues with collective decision making are subsequently identified and explored within the premise that collective decision making is fraught with problems that may cause the decision making to be ineffective. The concept of diversity is examined at social and abstract level as these deliver benefits to the processes of both understanding the problem and making the decision. The human factor in the understanding process offers mechanisms for diversity and possibilities. In conclusion this thesis shows that it is possible to enhance the competitive advantage of an organisation through decision making by understanding the elements and impact of diversity when diversity is understood correctly.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die moontlikheid om kompeterende voordeel te kan bewerkstellig deur diversiteit. Deur eers die invloed van besluitneming op die kompeterende voordeel te bepaal, en dan die uitwerking van diversiteit op besluitneming te bereken, word die indirekte verband uitgelig. Mededingendheid word ondersoek deur te bepaal hoe diensleweraars met dieselfde oplossings in dieselfde mark deelneem. Mededingendheid word verstaan in term van die kompleksiteit veroorsaak deur intense kompetisie, die vraag na hoë standaard diens, en die impak hiervan op organisasie kultuur en die verwantskap tussen individue en die organisasies waarvoor hulle werk. Die besluite van deelnemers oor hoe om te kompeteer in die mark word verder ondersoek. Deur die definisies van kliënte-waarde en kompetisie te verstaan, word dit moontlik om te bepaal wanneer die probleem konteks en deelnemer verhouding ‘n invloed op die kompleksiteit van besluitneming het. Kritiese heuristiek lewer verdere insig tot organisatoriese besluitneming. Die ondersoek van die oorsprong en redes vir besluitneming op die vlakke van kognitiewe en filosofiese vlakke lê die gereedheids potensiaal vir aksies bloot. Die eeu oue filosofiese beginsels van vrye wil en vooraf bepaalde uitkomste word bespreek om verdere insig in besluitneming oortuigings te verkry. Sosiale konstruksie en leer op die vlakke van persoonlike en organisatoriese leer word ondersoek om die belangrikheid van sosiaal bepaalde realiteite en lesse te bewys. Die vermoë om met ander ‘n wisselwerking te kan bou en dan te kan leer uit die wisselwerking word ondersoek om die rol van risiko gedurende die besluitnemings proses uit te lig. Of dit moontlik is om besluite te kan neem sonder om bewus te wees daarvan word vervolgens ondersoek. Die bydrae van gewaarwording op persoonlike en groeps vlakke tot organisasie besluitneming dinamiek word verder uitgelig. Klasse van kompleksiteit in die organisasie kultuur help om patrone in besluitneming te definieer wat gebruik kan word om besluite te versterk en te versnel. Elf algemene probleme met gesamentlike besluitneming word vervolgens bekend gestel en ondersoek binne die siening dat gesamentlike besluite gelaai is met problem wat besluitneming oneffektief maak. Die beginsel van diversiteit word ondersoek op sosiale en abstrakte vlakke omdat dit voordele vir die proses van beide die verstaan van die probleem en die besluitneming inhou. Die menslike faktor in proses van verstaan bied meganismes vir diversiteit en moontlikhede. Ten slotte word dit aangedui dat dit moontlik is dat die kompeterende voordeel van ‘n organisasie beïnvloed kan word deur besluitneming wanneer diversiteit verstaan word en die invloed daarvan korrek aangewend word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80223
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