Decision Making in Organizations

The Effective Use of Personnel
  • Humphrey V. Swann


This chapter reviews a number of topics in occupational psychology and shows how early attempts to develop unitary theories have been superceded by decision-making approaches. It should also become apparent that developing a universalistic decision-making theory, such as an expectancy theory, is itself questionable because the experience of both practitioners and theoreticians in occupational psychology (and most people in the field are a bit of both) is that any decision-making scheme must embrace both the context and purpose of the decision. In organizations, people do not make decisions in isolation; they make decisions about something or someone within a historical, political, social, legal, physical environmental, and economic context, and with some aim in mind. Furthermore, decisions need to be implemented and maintained, and because difficulties, hard work, and unpleasantness may accompany any decision, there is often considerable attractiveness in decision avoidance. Janis and Mann (1977) have described some of the decision avoidance ploys.


Trade Union Payment System Industrial Relation Incentive Scheme Work Study 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Humphrey V. Swann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCity of London PolytechnicLondonEngland

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