MBA835 Managerial Problem Solving And Decision

MBA835 Managerial Problem Solving And Decision

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MBA835 Managerial Problem Solving And Decision

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MBA835 Managerial Problem Solving And Decision

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Course Code: MBA835
University: National Open University Of Nigeria is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Nigeria


Q1. Describe a past workplace scenario (preferably based on reality) where you were informed of a relatively complex or significant problem and it was your responsibility to get it “fixed”.
Q2. With regard to the scenario identified in Q1, now describe the problem solving process that you used. You may wish to comment on how you: defined the problem, used tools/information to generate solutions, identified the best solution, implemented the solution, communicated with stakeholders and evaluated the solution.
Q3. With the benefit of hindsight, how effective was your judgment in the decision-making process and overall solution for your workplace? Comments may refer to individual overconfidence or biases; organisational constraints; alternative solutions or reversing of decisions; the influence of emotions, time, resource or other pressures, status or power; the role of fairness and ethics; conflict of interests; negotiation processes; unexpected outcomes (savings or costs, positive or negative); organisation policies, hierarchy and culture; and/or communications with stakeholders.
Q4. Based on your current knowledge, develop your own personal statement of the key features of a “Best Practice” approach to managerial problem solving and decision-making.


Question 1
Absenteeism of workers is a complex issue that affects the firm regarding its productivity; it is a problem that I encountered. It was my responsibility to come up with solutions to get rid of it. This a problem which has many consequences which include; there is a loss of production, increased production costs, increased workloads, low morale, increase in overtime costs, managers are frustrated, poor product quality, adverse opinions held by customers and also increased management and supervision costs and stress (Yu, 2013).
I found out that the problem was caused by different reasons; low employee morale, deficient work culture, absence of employee communication programme, the culture of reluctant managers or the management, a lack of interest with regard to the problem. The absence of tools to identify and solve the causes of absenteeism within my workplace and the incapacity to provide the necessary employee support (Rios, McConnell, & Brue, 2013).
It was my responsibility to investigate the problems of absenteeism. To create a work environment conducive to good attendance, to come up with procedures to reduce absenteeism and to provide a basic solution to fight the problem effectively.
Question 2
Problem-solving process
Problem-solving process is a six-step process of approaching any issue that faces any individual, organization or government (Making, 2013). It includes; defining the problem that needs to be solved, analyzing the problem by use of different tools or information to generate solutions, coming up with different solutions that can be used, selecting the best option that satisfies employers interest, implementing the chosen solution and lastly evaluating it by communicating with the stakeholders.
Define the problem
The problem that is affecting the organization is identified. In my workplace, I described the problem as absenteeism, what caused it according to the agreements I received from the employee (Making, 2013).I looked at each and everyone’s point of view on this problem, and after coming up with the best idea, I wrote it down in a clear statement with solutions.
Analyze the problem
This entails analyzing the already defined problem so as to come up with the causes. This means getting information and research about the problem especially by using different tools to identify the causes (Zavadskas, 2011).
I found out that many employees were not reporting to work mainly because of illness or injuries without letting the management know that they will not make to work. And this was due to lack of secure communication with the human resource management. Another cause was bullying whereby some employees failed to report to work because they feared being harassed by their fellow workers. There are also employees who are not usually committed to their jobs, and hence they try hard to find excuses for not coming to work (Marques, Gourc, & Lauras, 2011). They did this because they had no respect for the management and others lacked freedom and flexibility. Employees lacked morale because they had no freedom to make decisions, had no paid time off and never attended meetings to boost their confidence.
Generate potential solutions
Once the problem is analyzed, different solutions are given which will be able to solve the problem. This needs one to be careful because all the options are each identified so as to come up with the best (Proctor, 2014). Every employee is allowed to come with solutions to solve the defined problem in their organization.
The solutions that I identified to get rid of the problem of absenteeism according to the employees included; rewarding good attendance by giving them bonuses and also increasing their salaries from time to time. They also suggested about being given paid time offs so as to boost their morale (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 2013). Another solution is supporting the employees because many may have some challenges in their life and giving them EAP programs would help them deal with their personal life which might be affecting their attendance.By doing this, they will feel fully supported and that the employers care about them. I also found out that we needed to have secure communication with the management so that employees can report in case they are not attending their shift (Chimote & Srivastava, 2013). The workers also needed to know how the in attendance would affect the productivity of the organization and only unavoidable circumstances would be accepted for failing to come to work.
Select the best solution
After coming up with different solutions, there is need to choose the best option that will be implemented according to the available resources that is to select the best solution that will work out correctly and how it should be done (Taylor, 2013)The factors which might affect the solution are also identified so as to avoid any bias.
After doing discussions with the employees, we came up with the best solution to absenteeism which is enforcement of attendance policy and a policy communication with human resource.
Implement the solution
This is a process which entails scientifically looking at the selected solution and then coming up with information on how to use it in the study stage.
I came up with a policy which the employees would freely and easily communicate with the human resource management in case of their absenteeism so that everybody in the organization will have the information of why a certain employee is not at work. We created an attendance policy which included the definition of being absent and what contributes to excessive absenteeism (Kehoe & Wright, 2013).
Evaluate the solution
This is the final stage of the problem-solving process which entails inquiring if the solution identified worked and if not what went wrong. What should be done to ensure it works. After that, findings are analyzed, and the information may be communicated to the management (Zavadskas, 2011).
After implementing the solution, I talked with the Directorate and the stakeholders on how to make it work and how it will affect the organization when put into consideration. We saw that, by creating an attendance policy, people would be responsible enough and no many cases of absenteeism will be reported (Marques, Gourc, & Lauras, 2011). And also by having an easy communication with the management, the workers will be able to communicate easily with the human resource to inform them when and why they will not be able to come to work a particular day.
Question 3
Effectiveness of the solution
Communicating with the stakeholders is an effective solution to avoid absenteeism. Stakeholders include the employees, labor unions, suppliers, investors, shareholders and even the government. Different stakeholders have different interests, and effective communication ensures that they have the information that is relevant to their needs with positive attitudes to the success of the organization (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014).
Involving the stakeholders in problem-solving and decision making helps because they provide valuable information which improves outcomes and build agreements on the final decisions.  They increase transparency hence leading to a better decision (Taylor, 2013). They build trust hence result in the success of any decision that is made. The willingness of stakeholders’ participation on the jobs given to them during a planning project usually contributes to the success or failure of the project.
Enforcement of attendance policy is another solution to reduce the rate of absenteeism in an organization. This is developed after the team has determined that high rate of absenteeism is causing disruptions to the business operations. A small company may not need an attendance policy, but as it grows, there is need to have the policy because of dealing with more employees (Todd, et al., 2011). The attendance policy covers the following issues; paid sick leave, eligibility requirements, recordkeeping, failure to report, counseling, disciplinary procedures, medical excuses and accumulation of sick days. The attendance policy includes the benefits of coming to work every day, and on time, the system is necessary because the organization depends on everyone coming to work as required so as to get the job done. Every employee is useful and adds value to the organization if they are always present (Zavadskas & Turskis, 2011). Coming to work daily helps build one’s reputation and dependability because we are all important part of the production team. For the success of any organization, all employees are involved, and it is, therefore, important to ensure that we are dependable and also prompt.
To solve the problem of absenteeism, the organization can also adopt various incentives which include; paying off some or all the unused sick days, lotteries, additional time off rewards, special dinner or lunch for employees with good attendance, sending letters at home for those with good turnouts, recognizing employees with good attendance maybe in a newsletter, paying them premiums, absence banks and basing merit increases heavily on attendance( Knauff, & Wolf, 2010).
Question 4
A best practice is a method selected as being accepted as superior to all other alternatives because the results are superior to any other effect that is given out. First I recognize the problem at hand by being attentive, and the fact is that problems do exist every time. After recognition, I turn the problem inside out by looking at details of it, the definition and write it down so that I can identify the causes (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). I stand back and see the problem at hand and in a broad observation. I usually approach the problem through a lens of opportunity as the best leader while leaders without the knowledge approach it with a linear vision. To know who exactly is affected by the problem, I talk to others because it may be team members, customers, mentors or colleagues. I look at other firms and how they handle similar issues to build knowledge. Afterward, some people may solve the problem at leaving it behind. After solving, I ensure that the problem stays solved every time with right solutions in place.  I view the issue as a key to improvement and opportunities. The best practice approaches to solving problems I apply are; transparent communication, break down silos, open-minded people and a solid foundational strategy (Marques, G. Gourc, D & Lauras, M., 2011). And I usually apply these approaches so as to build my knowledge on managerial problem solving and decision making as a leader.
Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong’s Handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
 Chimote, N. K., & Srivastava, V. N. (2013). Work-life balance benefits: From the perspective of organizations and employees. IUP Journal of Management Research, 12(1), 62.
Figueiredo?Ferraz, H., Gil?Monte, P. R., & Olivares?Faúndez, V. E. (2015). Influence of mobbing (workplace bullying) on depressive symptoms: a longitudinal study among employees working with people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of intellectual disability research, 59(1), 39-47.
 Hwang, C. L., Lunenburg, F. C. (2011). Decision making in organizations. International Journal of & Yoon, K. (2012). Multiple attribute decision making: methods and applications a state-of-the-art survey (Vol. 186). Springer Science & Business Media.
Kehoe, R. R., & Wright, P. M. (2013). The impact of high-performance human resource practices on employees’ attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Management, 39(2), 366-391.
Knauff, M., & Wolf, A. G. (2010). Complex cognition: the science of human reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Making, H. O. D. (2013). Problem Solving & Decision Making.
Marques, G., Gourc, D., & Lauras, M. (2011). Multi-criteria performance analysis for decision making in project management. International Journal of Project Management, 29(8), 1057-1069.
Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. M. (2013). Employee—organization linkages: The psychology of commitment, absenteeism, and turnover. Academic Press.
 Proctor, T. (2014). Creative problem solving for managers: developing skills for decision making and innovation. Routledge.
Rios, M. C., McConnell, C. R., & Brue, S. L. (2013). Economics: Principles, problems, and policies. McGraw-Hill.
Taylor, D. W. (2013). Decision making and problem solving. Handbook of organizations, 48-86.
Todd, A. W., Horner, R. H., Newton, J. S., Algozzine, R. F., Algozzine, K. M., & Frank, J. L. (2011). Effects of team-initiated problem solving on decision making by schoolwide behavior support teams. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 27(1), 42-59
 Yu, P. L. (2013). Multiple-criteria decision-making: concepts, techniques, and extensions (Vol. 30). Springer Science & Business Media.
Zavadskas, E. K., & Turskis, Z. (2011). Multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) methods in economics: an overview. Technological and economic development of economy, 17(2), 397-427.

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