Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Computer and Security Science

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Wayne Snell

Abstract

Decision making is a crucial facet of human existence. Decision making can also be a powerful instrument in determining the fate of individuals, organisations, governments, and at society at large. Within the context of government, there is enormous responsibility to ensure that decision making as par for the course of management and governance, results in decisions which are informed, timely and appropriate. It is essential that decision making achieves objectives which are beneficial to the individuals or environment, to which they will be applied. This research study seeks to understand the use of intelligence processes to inform and improve decision making. Further, this study explores the opportunities which may be capitalized upon, in the event that internal intelligence functions are incorporated within the organisational structures of a non-dedicated intelligence organisation. This exploration is undertaken through a review of the way in which the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrative Investigations (Ombudsman) in Western Australia performs legislated functions to arrive at decisions. Insightful information is presented in relation to the organisation's structure; and the assessment, investigative and decision making processes and procedures, employed therein. When combined with individual perceptions collected from a range of participants within the organisation regarding the influence and impact of intelligence, this information allows for analytical comparison with academic literature within the intelligence discipline. Through understanding and exploration of the formal and informal structures within the organisation that influence investigative decision making processes, complaints management and administrative tasks; this research study both identifies and quantifies the potential contribution of intelligence functions in decision making. This research study provides an opportunity to gauge the appropriateness and envisaged contributions (such as a potential improvement in decision making), that implementation of a formal intelligence function might bring to the organisation. Again, comparisons between available literature, examination of current organisational structure and processes, and the personal understanding of participants, is illustrative in the development of an overall picture of the appropriateness or otherwise of intelligence within non-dedicated organisations in general. This research study is as much the learning and development opportunity of the researcher, as it is about addressing an aspect currently lacking within academic literature surrounding intelligence and decision making. As such, this research study provided a facilitative mechanism for the research to further develop their own understanding of the associated context and concepts, whilst also contributing an innovative perspective to the literature.

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