Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Churchlands, Western Australia


Faculty of Business


School of Management


McKenna, R.J., (1996). Approaches to decision making. Churchlands, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


This book is designed as a brief introduction to the understanding of decision making in work settings. It is designed for use in graduate courses and should be supported by a wide range of additional reading materials and practical exercises. The approach is multi-disciplinary and pluralistic: there are many perspectives from which decision making may be viewed. Similarly, there are many differences in decision making between individuals and between contexts.

The book is intended to contribute to a raised awareness of the many issues and high complexity attaching to important decisions. It may or may not help the reader to become a better decision maker. That outcome depends on personal desire and availability of resources, including time and pressure, as much as anything else. However it is hoped that those readers who are accustomed to the traditional focus on 'rational' decision making will quickly learn that decision making is a complex and many faceted activity.

The text is divided into six modules or parts, each looking at a specific aspect of decision making in organisations. Module 1 looks at some important philosophical issues, and introduces the 'convential' theories based in economics and sociology. Theoretical and empirical explanations of the decision process are examined in Module 2. Module 3 explores some of the aids to decision making. The individual as decision maker is the subject of Module 4, and Module 5 examines group decision making behaviours. Module 6 is a review, and suggests some of the implications and consequences of a course of study into decision making...

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