It helps decision makers to tread the fine line

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Unformatted text preview: rd environment, such as pharmaceuticals or aeronautics. CSIRO are currently considering funding such research. These studies could perhaps adopt longitudinal research designs. Previous research (for example, Papadakis and Lioukas, 1996; Rajagopalan et al., 1993), suggests that organisational performance is a function of a diverse collection of factors. Causeeffect relationships are, at best, tenuous and a broader conceptualisation of effectiveness that incorporates both process and performance measures, is now appropriate (Goll and Rasheed, 1997). Using longitudinal research designs, researchers would be able to gain a greater understanding of the causal relationships between the decision process and organisational performance by studying how connections between context, process and outcome unfold over time (Papadakis, 1998). This would minimise the possibility of reverse causality among the main variables (Van de Ven, 1992; Leonard-Barton, 1990). Consequently, longitudinal research methods would increase researchers’ confidence in the causal interpretation of the findings (Hart and Banbury, 1994; Chakravarthy and Doz, 1992). 8.6 CONCLUSION This thesis has highlighted that decision analysis should not be perceived to be providing a dictatorial straitjacket of rationality (French, 1989). Rather it should be seen to be a delicate, interactive, exploratory tool which seeks to introduce intuitive judgements and feelings directly into the formal analysis of a decision problem (Raiffa, 1968). The decision analysis approach is distinctive because for each 196 decision, it requires inputs such as executive judgement, experience and attitudes, along with the “hard data”. It helps decision-makers to tread the fine line between illconceived and arbitrary investment decisions made without systematic study and reflection (“extinction by instinct”) and a retreat into abstraction and conservatism that relies obsessively on numbers (“paralysis by analysis”) (Langley, 1995). The thesis has demonstrated that such an approach contributes positively to organisational performance in the upstream oil and gas industry. 197 APPENDICES 198 APPENDIX 1: INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Roles and responsibilities Assure respondents that all answers will be treated as confidential, that information disclosed in the interview will be kept securely at the university and that in the final research report, the real names of people and companies will not be used. 1. What is your job title? (Make note of company) 2. Typically, what decisions does this mean you are responsible for making? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ 3. Do you think that two decision-making processes exist in organisations? Yes No Don’t know If so, ask for more explanation and examples. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________...
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