Ira Horowitz Depending upon one's perspective, the need to choose among alternatives can be an unwelcome but unavoidable responsibility, an exciting and challenging opportunity, a run-of-the-mill activity that one performs seem ingly "without thinking very much about it," or perhaps something in between. Your most recent selections from a restaurant menu, from a set of jobs or job candidates, or from a rent-or-buy or sell-or-Iease option, are cases in point. Oftentimes we are involved in group decision processes, such as the choice of a president, wherein one group member's unwelcome responsibility is another's exciting opportunity. Many of us that voted in the presidential elections of both 1956 and 1984, irrespective of political affiliation, experienced both emotions; others just pulled the lever or punched the card without thinking very much about it. Arriving at either an individual or a group decision can sometimes be a time consuming, torturous, and traumatic process that results in a long regretted choice that could have been reached right off the bat. On other occasions, the "just let's get it over with and get out of here" solution to a long-festering problem can yield rewards that are reaped for many 1 ORGANIZATION AND DECISION THEORY 2 years to come. One way or another, however, individuals and organiza tions somehow manage to get the decision-making job done, even if they don't quite understand, and often question, just how this was accomplished.
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