But its now being pushed at all of the challenge

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Unformatted text preview: ll now be examined. 142 As indicated above, decision analysis has only been introduced into most organisations within the last five years and, consequently, most of the current chief executive officers (CEOs) of organisations have often not been introduced to its concepts throughout their careers. This point is well articulated by one respondent: “…I think there is a definite age imprint on decision-making. Today’s CEOs tend to be in their fifties now, and grew up corporately in the 1960s when slide rules and log tables were the norm. The young guns are much more comfortable using [decision analysis] but corporately have to still climb to the highest level.” (S3) This situation is exacerbated since even when companies choose to use decision analysis techniques and believe that their introduction requires staff training, the training is often only given to technical staff: “We run an uncertainty workshop which is part of the compulsory training programme for new, mainly subsurface, staff and that’s a four day long workshop where we look at some of the statistics and theory and we go through a whole series of worked examples. But it’s now being pushed at all of the “challenge graduates”, all the people joining the company, it is part of their core skills. For the people who have joined the company within the last three years it’s fine because they are going through that. It’s more of a problem for the people who have been in the company say five or ten years. That’s difficult.” (R1) This lack of knowledge significantly affects top management’s ability to understand the philosophy of decision analysis. For instance, there is a tendency for management to prefer to communicate deterministically: “The reliance on one number is hard to get away from. It tends to go all the way up. Even [at] the highest level, even the managing director level, they like to know, “Well, what’s the number?” Even at board level, they don’t tend to deal with numbers for the ranges.” (R1). This preference for deterministic analysis then permeates the entire organisation: “I still get the reaction if you ask people … If you go to a cost engineer, the die hard cost engineer, that has been in the shipyard all his life, and you go to him and say, “What I’m after is how bad it could be and how good it could be.” The usual story. “What do you mean how good it could be? This is what I’m telling you it’s going to be.” You know it’s going to be £50 million and the sheer concept that it could be anything different from that number he’s given you is completely alien and at that end what they’ll say is, “You want a 143 range on that? Well, it’s plus or minus ten per cent,” which is completely pointless. So, [it is] still a problem.” (N1); “Engineers like to deal with units and this is the number.” (R2); “The biggest problem we’ve got is that fact that we are deterministic. We’ve always got to have some case to build action.”...
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