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How Long Does It Take To Make a Decision

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 1 March 1986



It is still not completely understood what speeds up or slows down the decision‐making process. The duration of decision making may range from a month to four years, but usually takes about 12 months. Most processes run into disruptions and interruptions, which lengthen the time taken. Measuring decision making is difficult since it is virtually impossible to define the beginning and end of the process. The evidence for this comes from an extensive study of how top managers and administrators in the public and private sectors move towards a conclusion. A database was established of 150 cases of strategic decision making obtained by interviewing. Six cases were traced back by intensive case study methods. Short, medium and long decision processes are examined using case examples. One of the curious features of decision making is what happens before the deliberation process starts. Impediments and delays are discussed and whether committees slow the process.



Hickson, D.J. (1986), "How Long Does It Take To Make a Decision", Management Research News, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 2-7.




Copyright © 1986, MCB UP Limited

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