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Society
The crisis managment through proper decision making process

Society
The crisis management through Proper decision making process
Column
For the record

By PROF. MUHAMMAD WALI K. DURRANI
August 9 - 15, 1999

SCertainty is not an element of Lchance; it is an actuality of choice.

1. Civilizations rise and fall on the quality of their organization and management and so do the establishments. The most important function in leading organizations is Decision-making relating to pastipresent or future,. Organization, management and consequent successes of business, non-profit, mutual-benefit and common weal organizations depend on the characteristics of their decisions, process of,Necision-making and the devsion makers.

2. While solving problems, making decisions, planning or managing crisis, apart from other tools and mechanism available for proper decision making relating to past, present and future, the consideration and application of the ensuing accounts would support in befitting problem solving, decision making or planning.

a. Holding true to basic manage- ment principles.

b. Syllogism, doctrine of inference, deductions and logic.

c. Strict adherence to values and ethics.

d. Doing justice with jobs, self, peers and society.

e. Reworking to mores.

f. Usage of modern tools including information technology.

g. Impartiality, balancing and using adult ego state.

h. Utilization and acceptance of common sense.

3. If proper course in decision-making is not adopted and ill-favoured situations, most commonly seen in majority of Pakistani organizations in private as well as public sector, emerge. Unpleasant situations leading to all kinds of crisis are certainly not desirable. Educational institutions, which formulate the roots of societal development, both in Public and Private Sectors are no exception in our country and perhaps this is the basic reason of our problems atfnacro and micro levels.

4. Our public sector and particularly educational institutions in public sector are the worst hit by unacceptable situations. It is beyond any doubt that the Educational Institutions, through proper education, requisite training and adequate development of Human Resource—the most important factor of production in all types of economies—form the bases of technological, managerial, economic and social development. Today's condition of our public sector educational institutions at all levels is due to poor decision making violating all moral, ethical, principled and academic values.

5. The erring decision, which entails incorrect placement of human resources or total wastage of resources leads to some or all kinds of crisis. Like for a heart surgery, a dentist is preferred and assigned the job or in a car having 1300 CC engine, an airconditioner requiring 2000ye5C engine power is placed.

6. Until and unless we correct ourselvess, in our country, due to faulty planning and very jpoor decision making, the days are not very far when more than 50% of our doctors and enqineers will be seen working as Deputy Commissioners or Superintendents of Police. Who will take care of the medical care or engineering concernsremains a question mark?

7. Due to faulty, poor, political or no decision-making our innu- merable organizations—Giants of Pakistani organizations in public sector like PIAC, WAPDA, Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Railways, KESC, Universities, Banks and even Utility Stores Corporation—are in big trouble and facing crisis.

8. In private sector, textile industry is sick for sufficiently long time now and the leather industry is not as efficient as it should beg As per press reports and views of specialists our financial system is at the verge of collapse. The productivity in industrial sector is poor. At the same time agricultural sector is also not that productive as it should be and it is facing acute shortage of infrastructure and trained and developed Human Resource. Performance of other sectors in the

society is questionable.

9. All Public sector Universifies in one way or the other are in difficulty. Raised for research and advancement of knowledge to achieve excellence both in economic and social sectors, these institutions, because of straying decisions, financially as well as academically are almost at thy verge of bankruptcy today.

10. Industrial, agricultural, educational, mediating technology, in tensive technology and particularly commonweal organizations (in private or public sector), with the exception of very few, in our society lack true managers. The appointments of managers in most of our organizations are not based on merit. It reminds us of the quotation of Prof. Kindleburger, who says that some how or the other the best person always happens to be the son-in-law, son, daughter-inlaw or daughter of the boss or the owner. In other words, the managers are not appointed on merit but for political reasons or for Psychological Hedonism.

11. Psychological Hedonism is compromise on standards for personal gains, violating most basic principles for self-winnings, being egocentric, and having' short-term perspective. Most people in our society operate for self- achievements and for selfprojections. In almost all segments of our life and including our organizations, this tendency is the hallmark of our societal and organizational culture today. If we have to cope with this situation, there is no other alterpative but to resort to investigation and research leading to apt decisions and adequavecision making.

12. To confront every situation on the job, skills required by a manager for application of congruous mental directions are prudent thought process. Ironically, not only the mental directions but also the rational thought process is absent in our society. The thought process, regardless of different milieus and content, through a sequence of systematic questioning and analytic steps, provides means to managers at all levels to gather and utilize information successfully. Such approach provides the following advantages:

a. Scientific and systematic method for resolving issues.

b. Application of a consistent approach results in proficiency.

c. Enable managers to extract relevant information from the data. d. Facilitates communication with others, when common terms used.

13. A manager's ability to survive as a "content expert" impaired severely as the individual manager becomes or made responsible for more and more content areas. There are very few individuals who can be capable of mastering the various aspects of all the organizational and business functions—Procurement/ Production, Finance, Personnel, Marketing, sales and Public Relations—that are components of today's manager's responsibilities.

14. In our social set up and in most of our organizations particularly in the Public Sector, most people claim to be masters of all whereas they are not even jacks of all. Such like people want to have more and more nuisance value, more and more power and in the process they demolish the organizational structure by grabbing and centralizing all powers in them. (This is very normal in our setups for individual anci political reasons).

15. The unfeigned manager (difficult to locate in our society) have to rely on specialists in different functions performed in different types and kinds of organizations; some of them may be subordinates, peers, superiors and even people who do not work for the organization. This brings in the philosophy of specialization and comparative advantage—the utilization of ability and potential of an expert to the best and as a result achieving maximization in efficiency and effectiveness.

16. The substitutes (Prof Dr. M. H. Qazi coined this term for do nothing look busy and claim big type of people) only talk and claim credit for other's hard work. They (the talkers) claim to be doing all good and if something goes astray then they either blame the subordinates or the peers or the superiors or else the environments and at times the non-availability of resources. The talkers are very sweet and most decent in talking and are highly articulate in claiming.

17. The most suited answering to the problem of talkers could be by applying the concept of Zerobased Budgeting and declaring all units and sub-unit as cost or profit centers. Balance Sheet approach, Accountability and Management by Objectives could be other ways and measures to account for the talkers. By putting these concepts in practice, authority, responsibility and accountability, in their respective perspectives of an unfeigned manager, can be identified and existence and placement or non-existence of a,/nanager could be decided with proper justification.

18. All managers remain responsible and accountable for the results expected from their positions. Therefore, a manager must still collect and collate more and more information from different sources and then organize and analyze the information base. The appropriate process for accomplishment of this task is enumerated in the under mentioned table.

19. Excellent results' can be achieved only if the input and mental Drocess are of excellent quality. Nevertheless, our existing political, social, economic and cultural conditions indicate that in our working systems, concept and philosophy of accountability does not exist or exists only for the very few nonfavoured people. To have excellent results we must locate proper thinkers and thought processors and assign them responsibilities according to individual merits of a person. Empirical evidence indicates that sound results can be generated from three kinds of managerial activities:

a. Problem solving

b. Decision making

c. Anticipatory decision making (Planning)

20. Problem solving deals with the past i.e. Determination of the fact as to why some person or something is not providing the expected performance. Decisionmaking addresses the present i.e. select an option from among a number of courses of action available. Due to prudent thinking, proper gathering of facts, critical analysis and sound decision-making, decisions ensure achievement of objectives and it can be claimed that the "Certainty is not an element of chance; it is an actuality of choice".

21. Planning takes care of the future i.e. envisioning the future and taking anticipatory decisions. Here again if proper care is maintained in gathering facts, realistic analysis is carried out and apt planning is done; "Certainty does not remain an el,ement of chance; it becomes an actuality of choice".

22. Since the appropriate resolution of concerns in the past, present and future require significantly distinct approaches, therefore, the information required and the thought processes employed will be different in problem solving, decision-making and planning.

Situational assessment

23. To solve problems, make appropriate decisions and defend plans, a manager must verge upon differing options and that demands the use of the unrivaled technique of situational assessment. This unique technique capacitates the manager to determine into precisely, which of these areas—problem solving, decisions making, planning—a matter or concern falls. In assessment of the situation, a manager should accomplish the following:

a. Classify the number and range of concerns or matters to be resolved .

b. Segregate these concerns or matters into manageable segments.

c. Establish primacy, rank and preference.

d. Determine whether each concern pertains to the past, the present or the future i.e. is it a matter of problem solving or de- cision making or planning so that the requisite analytic process can be applied on the merit and categorization of the corcern or matter.

24. A concern or matter discussed here can be defined anything that necessitates a prompt response by any manager in the hierarchy of managing. Such concern can be generated through an unusual telephone call, because of a standing order procedure, due to organizational changes, by reason of grievances of the employee and a variety of other sources. One of the major sources could be and should be manager's own actuation to seize opportunity and maximize personal contribution to the organization. The need to identify and recognize concerns consciously and deliberately is created by:

a. The necessity of considering all concerns before deciding how time and resources will be allocated for their resolution.

b. The pitfall of overlooking everpresent problems as legitimates/ concerns to be resolved.

c. The desirability of consciously attempting to profit by every potential opportunity that might present itself.

Segregation

25. Having known the managerial concerns, it is important to separate them into manageable areas. Unclear, indeterminate, vague, deceptive and generalized statements are not sufficient to describe the specific concerns in a situation. Such statements could be as under:

a. Personality clash

b. Communication breakdown

c. Morale problem

d. Distribution situation

e. Low revenu

f. Low profits

g. Environmental constraints

h. Low or poor production

i. Ineffectiveness

j. Dis-functionliities

k. Inefficiency

26. The statements enumerated above are not enough to describe the specific concerns intrinsic in a situation. These remain merely a statement, unless verified and tested can not be regarded as a concern. Psychological Hedonism may also create many concerns. Therefore, segregation has to be carried out to establish discrete and diverse problems, decisions and plans. The separation of concerns will exactly indicate; what is to be done, where is to be done, when is to be done and how is to be done. Let us examine a situation.

27. For example, if a low morale problem is reported in an organization. Assume that employee grievances comparing with last month have increased by 4%. Employee turnover comparing with last year has increased by 8%. Four of the employees are requesting for transfer to another departmenV division or their departmental/ divisional heads have requested for their shift. And, it has come to the knowledge of the manager that an employee union is being formed.

28. Upon research of the above individual concerns or matters, the manager might learn that the first two are problems; the concern of transfers necessitates decisions and the formation of union relates to planning or anticipatory decision making. Here, now three distinct different situations have emerged, whereupon three diverse approaches have to be adopted to resolve the concern what was originally termed as a morale problem.

29. After separating the generalized concerns into specific matters, the priorities can be established by a manager. The priorities may be:

a. Which concern to be personally handled by the manager.

b. Which concern can be delegated?

c. What resources are to be allocated?

d. Which matters or concerns demand immediate action?

e. Which concerns can be dealt with later?

f. Which concerns need no action?

g. Which concerns can be ignored but future occurrence must be taken care of.

Selection of Process:

30. After identifying the problem and having known that the concerns exist; what are the individual components of the concern are; and which of the concern represents the greatest opportunity or threat, the manager can choose which of the analytic process apply: Problem Analysis, Decision Analysis or Anticipatory Decision Making Analysis. Up to this point clarification of thought process has been involved. After completion of the mental process the individual manager should now be ready to actually respond, act or react.

31. Talking with big claims and discussing perspective planning will not serve any purpose. We as individuals and as a society have to be action oriented and proactive. Instead of having unrrealistic and unachievable plans, we should first consolidate ourselves by putting our house in order. And for that basics in management are available which we should follow religiously.

32. To conclude, it is stressed that if we have to develop and grow, the facts have to be found, analysis has to be done, decisions have to be made and implemented. Finally all those managers (competent or incompetent) authorized; responsible and accountable for the job could not perform and could not achieve the desired results must be dealt with on merit. According to universal principals of management, they should be taken to task and put to gallows for their ill deeds, which haves brought the organizations, insitutions, this nation and country on the brink of vanishing.

33. Justice delayed is justice denied and decision delayed is mission and lifework denied. So, can we start taking decisions in the rights perspectives and directions.

Note: The author remains indebted to Prof. Dr. M. H. Qazi, Vice Chancellor Hamdard University, Prof. Dr. Matin A. Khan, Dean Faculty of Management Sciences, Hamdard University and Mr. Wasim Qazi, Personal Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Hamdard University for their discussions with the author and their valuable contributions.

References:

1. Mc Farland Dalton E., Management: Foundations & Practices, 5th edition, Collier Macmillan Publishing Inc., Canada,1979

2. Koontz H., Management a global perspective,10th edition, McGraw Hill Inc.,1993

3. Saeed, Syed Mumtaz, Managerial Challenges in the third world, Preager Publishers, N .Y.,1986

4. Fulmer Robert M., The New Management 3rd edition, Macmillan Publishing Co.,1983.

5. Putti Joseph M., Management, A Functional Approach, McGraw Hill Book Company, Singapore, 1987.

6. Davis Keith, Business and Society, Concepts and Policy Issues, McGraw Hill Inc., New York,1980.

7. United Nations, Human Development Report 1997, Oxford University Press, New York, 1997.

8. Safdar Muhammad Hasan, Decision-Making, A Multidimensional Process, Royal Book Company, Karachi,1990.

Input Mental process Output (Goal)

Information from Organizing and anallyzing High quality results

all the sources the information (meeting objectives)