Here you have a process that is providing the answer

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Unformatted text preview: (D); and, “I’m sure this must be a consistent observation. We do all this beautiful simulation of the distributions but people still want one figure. You could say to them, “The range is this, or your expectation is this at various probability levels, you’ve got say 40% chance of finding this and then you know 30% chance of finding this larger figure and so on.” You know a nice little cumulative distribution. People don’t look at it. They want one number, “What’s the mean? What’s the expected value?” So sometimes I question why we do it because people just land on one number.” (H). Furthermore, several interviewees reported that their managers do not see any value in using decision analysis. These respondents believed that this situation is exacerbated because there is no empirical study indicating that using decision analysis techniques adds value to organisations. Some of the respondents also reported that the decision– makers in their organisation do not understand the concept of decision analysis and indeed perceive it to be a threat. This is well described by the contributors from companies S and C: “Decision trees or EMVs, when viewed as traditional end of project recommendations, show what decision should be made. There is no discretion required. Here you have a process that is providing the answer to the problem; what is the role of the high level decision-maker; all can see what the answer is – this is a very real threat to the decision-maker.” (S3); and, “People think [here] that by using [a] probabilistic approach you are actually throwing out the essence of the business” (C) The manager interviewed at company N confirmed these observations: “Blind faith is a better technique [than any decision analysis techniques] because then you are the boss.” (N2) 144 Such perceptions of decision analysis are closely aligned to the rational model (Harrison, 1995), operational research (French, 1989) and to the first definitions of decision analysis proposed in the 1950s and 60s (Raiffa, 1968). These managers believe that decision analysis is a purely normative tool, which removes discretion by dictating choice. Such definitions do not emphasise the distinctive features of decision analysis that distinguish it from the rational model. These misconceptions affect the way decision analysis is used by organisations in two ways. Each will be discussed below. • The misconceptions cause divisions and communication difficulties in organisations between those that understand the capabilities of decision analysis and those that do not. Often this is between those producing the analysis and the decision-makers. This situation is exacerbated and perpetuated since often in companies the decision-makers are not involved in the process of generating the analysis. They are often only presented with summary decision criteria. This has three implications. Firstly, it means that managers are not educated sufficiently in decision analysis to question the analysis. This could resu...
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This document was uploaded on 03/30/2014.

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