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Decision Making Theories for Hospitality Management (Article Sample)


Decision Making Theories for Hospitality Management


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Decision Making Theories for Hospitality Management
Decision making is the process of making resolutions that are highly important. This process involves two wide categories namely; rational and intuitive decision making. In their research on, “Importance of computing words in decision making,” while taking a keen consideration on the Hospitality industry, Herrera, Alonso, Chiclana, and Herrera-Viedma, (2009) argued that, “Managers need to make decisions well suited for their respective hospitality companies and these decisions maybe structural, operational, and infrastructural and decisions linked with the general performance of the business.” Managers in the hospitality industry must strive to choose the best approach while making such decisions. Decisions made within this industry must be rational (Birdi, 2005.p 109)
However, despite being the best decision making approaches, De Bono’s Six Hat theory and Complex Adaptive System (CAS) have several limitations that may lead to non-realization of success du ring decision making process(Holland 2006.p 7) and (Kenny 2003.p 109). This directly generates from employees or staff involved during the process. Some may complain of exclusion during the process in the case of CAS theory usage.
Suitable Decision Making Approaches
Between the two decision making approaches; intuitive and rational decision making, the best methodology for managers to use during their decision making process is the rational decision making approach. Findings of the research carried out by Kenny, L.J., 2003 on “Using Edward de Bono's six hats game to aid critical thinking and reflection in palliative care,” indicated that De Bono’s Six Hats theory can be an important theory of decision making that managers should adopt in making operational decisions. This should involve allocation of roles to individual employees as illustrated by the single hat role play in this theory. Structurally, the management can also involve its executive in promotional process of employees in hierarchical order (Mulej, 2007.p 353). This still falls under De Bono’s Six Hat theory whereby the hats will represent the roles to be carried out by the chosen panel as they solve the problems one after the other in unison.
After studying Complex Adaptive System Holland (2006) concluded that, “Managers can use the Complex Adaptive System (CAS) theory in their decision making on performance measurement.” In his view, this theory argues that all organizations can be compared to living organisms that interrelate in complexity within their specific niche. All employees within hospitality industries represent a single CAS, and must form part of decision making process on matters such as performance evaluation that directly impacts on their promotional benefits within the company (Levin, 2003.p 15-18). A good example of this theory can be traced back in the forest whereby a single tree acts as a CAS within a larger CAS which is the forest. This approach could also help infrastructural decision making whereby, all contractors are CAS within the major CAS which is the management of the individual hospitality company
The aforementioned approaches have flaws that must be fully discussed. Using De Bono’s Six Hats theory in making decisions on operational activities such as improving on service delivery may encounter several challenges in accordance with the findings of Sirakaya, and Woodside (2005) that indicated that, “Most decision making theories are flawed and this generates from the management and the staff of individual companies. In first instance whereby an individual employee may be given all the six Hats to make a sound conclusion, there may be inaccurate conclusions based on laziness and much ambiguity may be experienced in the whole decision making process (Kenny 2003.p.106) The management may also be subjected to complaints by individual who feel that they have been overburden by the decisions.
In the scenario whereby all the decision makers put on all the six hats there may arise questions irrelevant to the decision making process hence flawed data (Mulej 2007. P 353). During decision making process on structural operations of individual organizations using this theory, some of the panelists may grow emotional as illustrated by the Red hat and this may prevent the achievement of viable conclusions. This theory therefore presents a lot of anomalies that may hinder useful progress during decision making as presented in Holland (2006).
In studying the implications of CAS, Schneider, and Somers (2006) deduced that, “This system can only can only efficiently work within organizations with minimal number of employees. “This is contrary to the normal scenario within most Hospitality companies whereby the number of employees is high and presumably unmanageable. According to Lansing (2003), the implementation of this theory, may lead to biasness as some employees may be totally left out in the decision making process. If this happens during structural decision making that involves promotion of employees to higher positions, some who may feel left out may decide to resign. This will automatically impact on the company’s progress negatively due to loss of vitally needed skills.
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