Making Tough Decisions Well and Badly: Framing, Deciding, Implementing, Assessing: Volume 24

Cover of Making Tough Decisions Well and Badly: Framing, Deciding, Implementing, Assessing

Table of contents

(6 chapters)

This chapter applies Axelrod’s (1976) and Huff’s (Huff, A. S. (1990). Mapping strategic thought. In A. S. Huff (Ed.), Mapping strategic thought (pp. 88–115). Chichester: Wiley; Jenkins & Huff, 2002) approach to mapping strategic thought (causal mapping) to (1) categorize how manufacturers of new fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) may respond to environmental feedback to their decisions and (2) assess the effectiveness of alternative implemented decisions in assisting organizational growth. The manufacturing of new FMCGs requires timely product modifications in the assumptions of entrepreneur thinking in response to environmental responses/non-responses to decisions/actions of the manufacturing enterprise. A detailed example of causal mapping analysis is presented for a manufacturing entrepreneurial case study; the example covers processes linking events, decisions, and activities in business start-up, growth, and failure of the enterprise. The chapter closes by suggesting that causal mapping analysis is a valuable tool for advancing theory construction from case study research. The chapter provides a research plan for future reports applying causal mapping in retailing entrepreneur studies.


The study here helps to fill the gap between the current practices of management performance audits for firms and government agencies. The study advances recent theories of program evaluation and marketing management auditing. While the application in this chapter refers to government agencies managing destination marketing programs (tourism agencies), the algorithmic model construction is applicable for all management audits. The study applies the perspectives from two streams of theory to describe five relevant activities for managing destination marketing programs: scanning, planning, implementation, assessing, and administering. The analysis proposes impact assessments to improve management performances of DMOs via checklists for assessing the quality of information in tourism-management performance audits. Checklists can serve as a management tool by management performance auditors and by DMO executives to enhance the quality in executing destination marketing programs. A meta-evaluation of 10 tourism management audit reports identifies good and bad practices. The findings indicate that substantial improvements are possible in the practice of DMO’s management performance auditing, and the proposed checklist may ensure both high quality performance audit reports and improved performances in DMO practices.


Business realities include delays, unintended downstream consequences, exponential versus linear relationships, “hidden demons,” and virtuous and viscous feedback cycles. Executives often respond to these realities by applying nearsighted short-term solutions that contribute to long-run business failure. We provide core propositions and a framework for causal mapping and testing “micro-worlds” of real-life marketing-buying realities. A microworld is a set of explicit assumptions about how things get done, that is, how each variable in a marketing-buying system relates to other variables in the system. The framework suggests applying eight steps linking systems-thinking cause mapping, policy mapping, and systems dynamics modeling. The chapter reviews case research studies that apply the eight steps. Modeling system dynamics of business relationships aims to run simulations of the resulting microworld model of a specific reality; the main aim goes beyond description and explanation to offer prescriptions that reduce the occurrence of viscous cycles and encourage decisions leading to virtuous cycles. Hopefully, this chapter serves to awareness and use of system dynamics tools among case study researchers and executives in business and industrial marketing.


Understanding the nature and distribution of influence within buying centres is of critical importance to researchers in organisational buying behaviour (Dawes, Lee, & Dowling, 1998). However, the effects of the Internet on organisational buying behaviour remain rather vague. The primary objective of this study is to examine the effects of the Internet on the distribution of influence within buying centres. In particular, the study aims to identify the changes in levels of influence among key players at each stage of the organisational buying process due to the introduction of the Internet as a means of gathering information. Two groups of companies, representing high-internet-usage and low-internet-usage companies are identified. Results show that there is a significant difference in the distribution of influence within buying centres between the two groups where the level of influence of general managers tend to decline while functional managers tend to enjoy increased levels of influence in high-internet-usage companies.


This chapter presents a new model for developing and assessing the decision competencies of executive decision-makers. Prior models consider individual and group decision-making but neglect to consider the impact of group-interactive decision-making on real-world problem-solving and sense-making activities. In the present study experimental protocols represent an approximation of a realistic business decision-making process, where decision-makers consult with groups of stakeholders and then make decisions on their own. The model juxtaposes decision competence with the level of decision confidence with which decisions are made. The study furnishes an objective test for this phenomenon, resulting in quantitative empirical evidence of either follow-the-herd (FTH) behavior, or group-forged individual decisions (GFID), or follow-my-own-mind (FMOM) individual decision behavior. The study investigates the impact of group-interactive decision processes on hubristic behavior – decision-makers who make poor/wrong decisions, but remain confident in their choices, judgments, and decisions. The resulting management decision competency model provides an inter-disciplinary matrix, of benefit to human resource development specialists, and provides scholars in organizational behavior and leadership development with guidance for current and future research into group dynamics and decision competencies.

Cover of Making Tough Decisions Well and Badly: Framing, Deciding, Implementing, Assessing
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Book series
Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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