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Pros & Cons of Authoritative Decision Making

written by: johnsinit • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 11/23/2010

Decision making is one thing that every person on this earth faces. One of the decision making styles is known as authoritative decision making. This method is mostly used by the leaders who have complete knowledge about all the related matters.

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    Introduction

    The art of decision making is not easy. It requires time and patience to understand the matter fully and then arrive at a conclusion. Decision Making There are carious ways devised for decision making. One of the methods of decision making calls upon authoritative decision making. Authoritative decision making might be recommended only for team leaders or project managers who have the required ability to use this method of devising decisions. Authoritative decision making is used when a person held responsible has all the knowledge and expertise to churn out the best possible solution to the problem. In such conditions the leader is the sole person to make a decision. This type of decision making has its own benefits and flaws.

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    Pros...

    The first and foremost benefit of authoritative decision making is that usually the project manager is a person who is capable of churning out the best decision at turbulent times. So, in a situation when the project manager has to decide quickly about critical things - approve certain imperfections, make schedule adjustments, etc. - he should use this mode of decision making. When making this kind of decision the person should know that the responsibility is solely his, with all the benefits and drawbacks.

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    ... and Cons

    It is rightly said that where there is light there is darkness. The authoritative decision making has its dark side too. The biggest problem of this technique is that one wrong decision can cost the business big in terms of lost customers, revenue, or reputation. In management terms, this type of decision making is not much preferred as it involves only a single person - what if the proposed answer is not "the answer?" Two heads are better than one... If wrongly used, this type of decision making can be also harmful to one’s self - several wrong decisions and a person loses self-esteem and has doubts about his decisions, work attitudes that cannot be acceptable for a project manager or a team leader.

    If the person does not possess the complete knowledge about the situation and is use to making decisions with the counseling of colleagues then taking this step into the art of decision making can be dangerous for anyone - the person is just not used to having this much authority... It should be noted that counseling is always a better option as a person hears all the solutions to the problem, and it is possible that others are thinking clearer and better on the situation than the project manager. In addition the authoritative decision making technique must be used with extreme caution under stressful and emotional conditions as this can alter the decision and the project leader may choose badly.

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    References and Image Credits

    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-decision-making.html

    http://www.decision-making-confidence.com/authoritative-decision-making.html

    http://www.life123.com/health/self-improvement/decision-making/types-of-decision-making.shtml

    http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/References/OT/Prophets/Haggai/Haggai00_Leadership.html