Contingency Decision Making

Posted on May 15 2009

A contingency decision making framework is based on two dimensions – goal consensus and technical knowledge (knowledge of cause-effect relationships leading to goal attainment.)

The Contingency Decision Making framework is created as a two by two matrix with goal consensus (high and low) on one axis and technical knowledge (high and low) on another.

When technical knowledge and goal consensus is high, problem identification must have a low degree of Uncertainty, with the same known for the problem solution. An individual may use a Rational Decision Making Approach or numerical models to solve this problem. A Group may use some type of management science or computational model using quantitive data to generate alternatives and decisions.

High Technical Knowledge and low Goal Consensus decisions may show a high level of Uncertainty, but must show low uncertainty for the prospective solution. In this case, the individual will likely try bargaining or forming a Group to decide. A group will likely use the Carnegie Decision Model, in which they “satisfice” their decision.

Low Technical Knowledge and High Goal Consensus may exhibit a low uncertainty in problem indentification, but will exude a high uncertainty in problem solution. In this case, the individual will apply their own judgment, and potentially try trial and error solutions. The organization may apply an Incremental Decision Model to implement their project or product choices in phases.

Finally, decisions in which goal Consensus and technical knowledge are both low will provide high uncertainty in both problem identification and problem solution. The individual may try to decide using bargaining and judgement, and possibly inspiration and imitation – what have others done here? The organization will likely use a satisficing model such as Carnegie Decision Model, or even the Incremental Decision Model. The organization is potentially in a Garbage Can Model situation, where they use four streams of events and four potential consequences.

Copyright © Firefli Media