10 citations from around 8 articles

use 2 to 3 decision making tools

count 1100 words not including reference list

hint: what is a good decision making process, critical thinking should be objective, no bias, no personal suggestion. Must be a very objective and comprehensive business analysis.

from tutorial:Your paper should focus primarily on the decision-making process. If naming your decision is part of that process, you can provide the outcome. But remember that you should focus on applying a tool/framework to a decision-making process, and most of your paper should be focused on the application of that tool in the decision-making process. There is no minimum requirement of number of tools/frameworks to use. You must use what is relevant to the case you are analysing.

Assessment 2: Decision-making in a business scenario

Summary: Students will be required to apply the business concepts that were covered in lectures (Weeks 1 to 4) to a business decison-making scenario. Additional research will be necessary to complete the task. The (first) online modules ‘Critical Thinking for Business’ may also prove useful.

Task: Students will be required to apply business concepts, tools and decision-making traps (from Week’s 1 to 4) to a decision-making process. Students will choose one decision-making scenario from three provided via Blackboard in Week 1. The decision-making scenario should be examined using the range of business concepts, tools and decision-making traps from lectures as well as business concepts gleaned from additional research.

You are required to (a) start with the brief description of your chosen scenario, (b) describe the decision-making process in the scenario, using concepts and tools introduced in lectures, as well as any other business concepts derived from additional research and (c) outline at least one decision making trap that may occur during the decision-making process.

Length: 1200 words

Weight: 25%

Format: Students should use the template provided (posted on Blackboard) to structure their assessment.

Submission: On Blackboard via Turnitin.

Concepts, tools, traps covered in weeks 1 – 4:

· SWOT, PESTLE, Porters 5 forces
· DM tools
· Individual biases
· DM traps
· Group decision-making

>> DECISION-MAKING SCENARIOS – choose ONE of the following case studies:

Case study #1

Decision: Due to a series of mergers across the paper manufacturing industry over the last 10 years, and rapidly declining demand for newsprint and paper products, head office has advised senior management at a manufacturing plant that it must gradually lay off its workforce of 1,500 employees over the next 3 years. You are the General Manager of the plant. What are the main issues you need to consider in managing the shut down?


Who is involved?
1,500 employees, where 90% (1,350 employees) are involved in the production process. The remaining 10% of your workforce is made up of management, supervisors and administrative and support staff.

What is the product manufactured?
The plant produces pulp and transforms it in to a specific type of newsprint which is sold to a major Australian print media company.

Where is the plant?
The plant is located in a small regional town in NSW. It is the primary industry in the town, where it is estimated that 85% of families in the town depend on the plant as an employer.

When does the decision need to be implemented?
The workforce of 1500 staff needs to be reduced by one-third (to 1000 staff) by the end of year one, reduced by two-thirds (to 500 staff) by the end of year two, and the shut down and lay off of all staff must be implemented by the end of year three.

Case study #2

Decision: As a leader in the sporting apparel business, this company has enjoyed many years of success with its products focused on sports with most popularity in the United States – basketball, baseball and American football. Having reached the limits of growth by focusing on these sports, the company is looking to expand to new markets by producing apparel for different sports. You are the CEO of this company. How will you decide on the markets to expand to? How will you ensure success of this new business development?

Who is involved in the decision making?
A team of senior executives, made up of the VP of Sales, VP of Marketing and VP of Product Development will be looking to you as CEO to guide them through this decision-making process.

What products does the company produce and sell?
Performance sports wear and equipment, as well as branded, non-performance, wear.

Where does the company currently operate?
The company is headquartered in the United States, with an all-American senior executive team. It has 4 regional headquarters representing the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Asia and the Pacific. Its products are sold globally.

When does the company wish to expand?
The expansion project is to be completed within 12 months. You expect to see returns on this expansion within 2 years of launching.

Case study #3

Decision: The rapidly-changing social media market means companies need to be continuously looking for ways to remain competitive and relevant. As the co-founder of a social media company, you have decided that the best way to remain competitive and to expand your user base is to develop strategic alliances with other social media companies. You want to trial this with a first strategic alliance. How will you decide who to partner with? What characteristics will you seek in a suitable partner company?


Who is involved in the decision making?
Two co-founders, as well as the VP of Product Development for your company.

What services does the company provide?
You provide a social-networking and micro-blogging website with 100 million registered users.

Where does the company currently operate?
Registered users are across the globe, with most registered users in south-east Asia.



Organization leaders acquire exclusive responsibility of making decisive decision of business operations. Leaders have obligations of making decisions as one of the basic skills of leadership. Therefore, leaders are obliged to learn to make well-considered and timely decisions.  Based on the perspective of decision-making tools, the paper will focus on how leader co founder of a social-networking site would utilize decision-making tools and concepts

Case Study Overview (Case 3)

The case presents a marketing situation where a co-founder of a social media company that has recently experienced intense competition. Therefore, the company operates in a rapidly changing market implying that the company has urgent obligation of establishing strategies to maintaining the competitive nature of the entity. Therefore, as the co-founder of the company, it has emerged that developing strategic alliances existing social media entities would be an ideal approach.

Therefore, as a cofounder there would e a number of urgent concerns that need will need critical thinking. First, would be to establish appropriate trial approaches to proceed with the initial strategic alliance. Secondly, the co-founder will be obliged to make a critical decision o the appropriate partner. Thirdly, the co-founder will have to determine suitable characteristics of the identified partner.

A critical look at the loo at the case study indicated that the two co-founders and the Vice-President of the Product development would highly be involved in the process of decision making on implementation of the strategy. Additionally, the fact ha the company operates under the social-networking industry, it provides services to massive users; approximately 100 million registered users. The company serves users across the globe despite the fact that the majority of customers are located in Southeast Asia.


Overview of decision-making process

The above scenario indicates that the involved company leaders have exclusives obligations of making a decisive decision on how the company would benefit from strategic alliance. The approach indicates that the co founder of the company is willing to initiate an efficient marketing strategy that would help the company attain competitive edge (Barlow & Stewart, 2010)in a highly competitive industry. Therefore, it would be ideal for the co-founder to consider utilizing concepts of critical thinking, SWOT analysis, and Porters 5 analysis when making decision on implementing the strategic alliance.

The co-founder and the Vice President of the Product Development would consider including the concept of critical thinking when sourcing for the right partner to form the alliance. Halpern et al (2003), critical thinking entails use of strategies and cognitive skills (Brubaker, 2009) to obtain desirable outcome. Thus, critical thinking defines how a person thinks reasonably purposefully, and works towards set goals.

The co-founder and the Vice-President of the company would consider implementing the process of critical thinking when sourcing the appropriate partner. The first process would include making perspectives explicit and assumptions regarding reliability of the target company. The process therefore entails the initiative of evaluating possibility of the strategic alliance to improve the competitive edge of the company on long-term initiatives.

Secondly, the company leaders then consider understanding interests that would be beneficial to the entire stakeholders to the company. In this case, the entire stakeholders would wish to see the company remains competitive and retaining a big market share. The company would consider communicating to the lower management team the basis of the strategic alliance to make the team understand why it would be ideal for the future of the company.

Thirdly, when using the process of critical thinking, the cofounder and the Vice- President Product Development would consider exploring alternative ways of attaining competitive edge if strategic alliance would stall. At this stage, the two leaders would have to think of reliable marketing promotions strategies as an alternative to strategic alliance if the company fails to reach an agreement with the target partner.

Fourthly, the two leaders should consider making choice that indicating the company would be willing to make ethical choices. In this case, ethical decisions will entail how the company would manage to include ethical considerations that would not attract criticism form the stakeholders to the company.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis (Pahl et al., 2007) will guide the co-founder and the Vice-President to determine the internal and external environment affecting the operations of the company. The internal environment will entail the strengths and weaknesses affecting the profitability and leadership potentials of the company. The company would be able to attract a potential partner if it has large capital stake and competent work force that would guide the company to attract potential partner.

On the other hand, if the company is accrued by international challenges such as incompetent management team, financial inconsistency, and negative sentiments from users, many potential social-networking companies would hesitate to go through the strategic alliance.

External positive environment such availability of technological advancements, high demand for social-media sites, and high-speed internet would guide the company to achieve significant success in strategic alliance. The target partner company would consider operating with a company that has potential to demonstrate competency in its operation. However, if the company happens to be negatively affected by online policies and low innovative strategy, it would struggle to implement the strategic alliance with potential partners.

Porters 5 Analysis

The two leaders would also consider implementing the strategic alliance through the Porters 5 analysis. The analysis Porters 5 analysis includes an analysis of rivalry among existing competitors threats accrued to new entrants, suppliers bargaining power, buyers bargaining power, and threats of substitute products (Porter 2008).

The analysis of the industry rivalry will be mark the need for the two company leaders to decide whether strategic alliance would be dynamic competitive strategy (Day et al., 2004). Then the two leaders will need to analyse the force of threats of new entrants to examine whether a successful strategic alliance would block new entrants to the online industry. The force of supplier bargaining power would guide the company to establish whether can establish power suppliers once the motive of the strategic alliance would succeed.  Thus, the co-founder would also consider reaching an agreement with a social-networking firm that will strengthen the distribution channel (Dent, 2011).of the company. On a similar note, the co-founder and the Vice -President of the company would consider to analyse the force of customers bargaining power n the social-networking industry would force would influence the price of accessing the site. Therefore, when implementing the strategic alliance, the two top leaders would consider reaching an agreement with is loyal to its customers. Moreover, an analysis of the force of threat of substitute products will guide the two leaders to assess the degree of quality depreciation of the company’s online services once it forms the strategic alliance.

Description of possible decision-making trap

The two leaders would be prone to make bad decision whin implementing the strategic alliance.  In other words, if the leaders make weak decision when sourcing the correct partner to implement the strategic alliance the approach would be attract immense disaster. Decision-taps such as failure to consider another partner or other comparative strategy would imply that the leaders were weak in making decisions.

Secondly, the leaders would become victim’s decision-traps (Harvard Business Review, 2001) if they involve too many parties in implementation of the strategic alliance. Some parties would provide invalid or weak ideas that would stall the goal.


The paper has examined the process of decision-making process that leaders should mind implementing when attempting to implement strategic plans. The analysis of the scenario indicates that the co-founder of the company decided to implement the strategic alliance to maintaining its competitive edge in the social-networking industry. The paper has established that critical decision tools and concepts such as critical thinking, the SWOT analysis, and the Porter’s Five analysis would guide the co-founder and the Vice-President of Product Development to implement the objective.

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