a) Select and evaluate the usefulness of a range of decision making tools and reflect on your decision-making styles and contrast with other styles to determine the respective levels of rationality and intuition utilised
b) Compare, contrast and critically evaluate sources of data as influences for decision-making in a range of business contexts
c) Examine and evaluate decision making systems and techniques to engage group decisions and analyse how these can enhance sustainable outcomes
d) Critically examine emerging tools and technologies for decision making
Working environments are constantly changing, with contemporary organisations readily adopting new and innovative ways to bring groups of people together. One of the ways organisations have overcome globalisation demands is through the formation of virtual teams. Virtual teams/groups are where individuals, rather than working face-to-face, operate in networked environments supported in their communication and physical presence through technology and virtual group membership.
Here, skilled empowered individuals are required to operate outside their traditional organisational workplaces, instead working across the city or across the world, joined together by systems of technology, but working in physical isolation from one another.
This growth in virtual groups has come at a time of rapid and multidimensional change where established, traditional approaches to communication have been force fitted over newly emerging workgroup structures. Managers will clearly need to take on and make good use of available and emerging technologies to enhance their own their group's functioning and their organisation's decision making and change management skills.
Understanding the use of technology, the psychosocial costs and communication challenges in this technology-based environment will become essential ingredients for effective virtual managers and is the focus of Assessment 3. Organisations, keen to harness information-based resources held in the form of data in staff members' heads and evident in unstructured form in their emails, texts and conversations will need to use appropriate technology and group process in collaboration between staff to capture the resources. Information -based resources in tacit or unstructured data form can be mined and translated into explicit form to identify key organisational assets. Resources once identified can be leveraged to provide the enterprise with competitive advantage.
To successfully complete Assessment 3 students are required to;
- Read and discuss both Scenario A AND Scenario B
- Provide an individual Research Analysis covering all required fields
Is set in a mid-sized Australian organisation of 800 people, 80 of whom are involved in research, development and design (R, D &D) work. The organisation is keen to identify the innovative/creative capabilities held by their RD&D staff and use these capabilities to differentiate the business from their competitors. The organisation has set up a project to research R, D & D innovative/creative capabilities held tacitly by staff and in their unstructured communication.
Tacit information can be best accessed and converted to knowledge by accessing email -based communication between RD&D staff. RD&D staff members' emails and their rates and direction of connectivity have accordingly been mapped over a one-week period. The results of this research audit have been made available on the attached Map of R, D & D unstructured Information contained in emails.
Scenario A Data
The map identifies each staff member and the work station they have logged onto, by node (circle with a number inside). Rates of connectivity are shown by lines connecting the different nodes and the direction and intensity of traffic by the numbers of lines into/out of nodes.
The project will call for interpretation of the map and decisions made on who to bring together to discuss the content and collaborate in making tacit unstructured information drawn from emails explicit and therefore suitable for use by the organisation. Several ‘meeting rooms' will be made available to selected RD&D staff, each with a facilitator, visual aids and a groups decision support system to link and summarise up meeting room outputs.
This project will make use of a group-based communication technology system to support meetings between staff members and help make staff members' tacit data/information explicit. To facilitate this process resources available in each meeting room will guide group process and ensure that each meeting room's participants collaborate with one another, and with groups in other meeting rooms in generating explicit knowledge.
- After considering the map constructed from 70+ company staff members' emails over a one- week period you are required to help make sense of the tacit data held in those emails
- You should start by identifying naturally occurring clusters of R, D & D staff. Number those clusters one to six and show the nodes (numbered staff and terminals) you have decided to include in each cluster
- Move to the next step of selecting two key members (use rates of inter connectivity- connecting lines) from each of the clusters to attend the meeting areas and work with facilitators and GDSS technology in generating explicit knowledge
- Identify each cluster from one to six and show each cluster's constituents. In the table below.
- How did you decide on type and size of each of the six clusters?
- What was the basis for your selection of nodes in the clusters?
- Did you include ‘dangling nodes' in your analysis? Why or Why Not?
- Did you include unconnected nodes in your clusters? Why or Why not?
- What was your justification for selecting two R.D & D staff per each cluster to attend meeting areas over others in different clusters?
This case is centred around an Australia wide service-based organisation. Head office is in Melbourne, Australia and the organisation consists of 200 service staff, across 10 service centres, reporting to 40 managers. The organisation is keen to determine levels of service support provided by their staff and has instituted a project to capture what it means to be a service person and identify perceived support provided by management.
A series of telephone and face-to-face interviews have been conducted across field staff and management and the results recorded. The words recorded in individuals' stories captured through interviews have been processed by Leximancer, a qualitative analysis tool capable of making sense of vast amounts of data.
Assessment 3 Scenario B Data
The Leximancer process of analysis can define meaning through deep analysis of large amounts of textual data.
- Take note of the relative size of the balloons (concepts) and the lines connecting, or not collecting, the concepts.
- Consider the Leximancer content analysis map showing the concepts surrounding field staff, managers and customers and the communication, or lack of it between these concepts.
- Consider the map carefully, identifying key concepts and their relative relationships, then describe the more important and less important relationships shown.
- What form does the field service staff members' communication take?
- Who are they most likely communicating with, and about what?
- Is there a high level of communication between managers and customers?
- How important has support availability been?
- How open is communication between field staff and management?
- Describe the nature of results communicated by field staff
- What part do managers play in communicating results?
Use the results of your analysis to inform your decisions on the following.
- Are managers sufficiently customer facing to justify an introduction of an incentive payment system for them. Why or Why Not?
- Should the organisation bolster management's role or rather establish empowered self- managed field service teams to better reach customers?
- Has support proved to be effective enough to justify support increases
- Should customer-service communication be changed towards one of greater openness. Why or Why Not?
A possible structure for your Research Analysis is shown below.
- Cover page
- Executive summary
o Discussion of Scenario A
o Discussion of Scenario B
You may make any necessary assumptions; however, any significant assumptions should be detailed in your Research Analysis.