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Decision Making in the Military - Essay Example

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Running head: DECISION MAKING IN THE MILITARY Decision Making in the Military Introduction Decision making pertains to knowing that something has to be decided and thereafter to knowing when and what to decide. It also requires knowing of the consequences of the taken decisions because through decisions the military commander transforms his vision relative to the objective into meaningful action…
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Decision Making in the Military
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Download file to see previous pages There are other aspects of decision making in the military that can be solely considered as the art of war; such as effective leadership, intricacies of given operations and the ambiguity relative to enemy actions. The decision making process in the military has been chosen to be discussed in this paper because it is considered as an entirely analytical approach towards solving problems. Main Body Strategic decisions in the army are considered to be non routine because routine decisions in regard to effectively managing resources as per established processes and clearly defined plans relate to the technical functions of management. Routine decisions are mostly made by middle level managers or supervisors having the required authority for initiating such actions. But non routine decisions relate to adaptive work whereby senior leadership has to look into the broader implication of the given situation, take active roles in describing the issue, effectively examine the possible solutions and eventually decide about the course of action. In this context, the United States Army War College (USAWC) has defined strategic leadership as the process that impacts the “achievement of a desirable and clearly understood vision by influencing the organizational culture, allocating resources, directing through policy and directive, and building consensus” (Allen and Coates, 2009, p.4). The commander is always responsible for the decision making process in his unit and takes decisions about that will be done in every situation. The plan depends upon clearly articulating the visualization of the battlefield. The commander plans, prepares for and executes the operations. From the beginning to the end his personal involvement is crucial because his focused participation proves to be a guiding factor for staff. With the help of his staff, the commander explores all possibilities and the probable enemy course of action while analyzing and comparing his unit’s ability with that of the enemy. The staff has to integrate information on a collective basis by adopting high levels of technical competence for assisting the commander in his decision making process with the objective of achieving efficient outcomes (Snowden and Boone, 2007). In both the military and business organizations, decision making is a crucial element of management and wrong choices can immensely harm the planned objectives. Military commanders and business leaders need to make decisions by avoiding common biases in arriving at and implementing ethical and sound decisions. In defense establishments, a major challenge has been to manage the impact of the current organizational culture on the practices and standards of decision making. According to the Harvard Business School’s guidance on decision making processes, “A command and control culture tends to make decisions in line with the preferences of powerful individuals. No matter how well informed they may be … every decision is ad hoc and there is no consistent approach to dealing with important choices” (Harvard Business Essentials, 2006, p.6). It cannot be said that all defense establishments are characterized with a culture of command and control, but there is a need to be in the know of risks associated with the creation of such an environment. Military command ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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