League Tables: Their Use as Basis in Decision-Making Background knowledge about a subject is the key to any informed decision making. In management of firms, governments and other institutions, decision makers must research a particular matter in question including alternative courses of action, methods of implementation, and their consequences…
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Recently, there has been increased public awareness on basic service providers including schools and hospitals and people have tended to be choosier in this respect. On one hand, a professional has an easy time choosing which hospital offers the best health care or the school that provides the highest quality education because he or she would know the parameters to observe and compare. On the other hand, the task would be herculean for a member of the public as the factors that amount to quality service are largely a mystery, unknown to many. League tables are one of the many attempts to aid in decision making by providing detailed performance information about institutions of interest. League tables rank offer quantitative and qualitative factors for use as basis by decision makers in picking an institution of choice. For instance, high discipline standards in a school result in good performance and any parent with a taste for quality would take their child to a school that posts high grades in examinations. Though this system seems to work, it is only effective if everyone was ambitious and wanted only the best and not just what is available as many a parent just takes their children to school without caring about the school’s performance in previous evaluations. ...
188). Factors Affecting the Efficiency of League Tables Management factors The first managerial concept in the application of league tables is the maxim of ‘trust in numbers’ that begs to question the sudden interest in numbers in social sciences. This is because quantitative analysis has been a preserve of natural sciences for a long time. However, nowadays every field wants to have their ideas observed, analysed and reported in numeral terms. Many social scientists express concerns about attempt to quantify social parameters like education, health care and parenting among others. Of importance to note, for instance, is that it is impossible to measure the value of education offered at a certain school in the same manner one would measure the volume of a fluid in a lab (Porter 1996). Second is the concept of ‘politics of numbers’ where experts question if administrative institutions like governments and corporate firms can really be trusted to dispense knowledge for public consumption in the right way. For instance, to further some unspecified motives posting league tables in places and at a time when they are most likely to swing public preferences in a pre-determined way is beneficial. In addition, the parameters analysed in the league tables may be in such a way that a certain class of students are encouraged to prefer one school to the other depending on the interests of the maker of the tables (Kinsman 2003). League Tables and Choice League tables provide a basis on which customers can chose the provider that fulfils their needs. Instead of gambling about when making choices, people get a chance to make real
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