Main Types of Decision Making

15th May 2021

If you currently work in an educational leadership role, or used to work in one previously, you will know that as managers and leaders, we always have to take decisions for almost all the activities that go on within an institute. Some of these decisions may be a bit more strategic and serve a long-term purpose, while some may be taken for meeting immediate requirements.

Although decision making constitutes a major portion of an educational leader or manager’s role, it can sometimes prove to be a very demanding task. In fact, individuals who have just been promoted to leadership roles may find it harder to take decisions as their confidence level may be relatively lower than an experienced leader or manager. Often, when taking decisions, we are exposed to a variety of alternatives, and a thorough cost-benefit analysis of all these options must be performed to reach the most impactful conclusion. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Programs such as a diploma in education leadership and management often delve into the traits of a good decision maker, and these traits or qualities must be acquired by educational leaders and managers to achieve success on an operational and strategic level. In this blog, we will look into some of the main types of decision making that underlies a leader and manager’s roles.

  • Routine Decision Making: As the name indicates, these decisions are routinely or regularly taken in order to ensure the very existence of the educational institute on a day-to-day basis. For instance, daily decisions regarding who should organise the next sports event, handling problems with the ledger records, deciding upon frequent website changes, deciding how specific parents’ complaints can be handled. These issues arise very frequently, and leaders need to be prepared to make these decisions constantly. While they may appear fairly small, they add up to play a crucial role in the institute’s daily running.
  • Individual and Group Decision-Making: As a leader, you may notice that it is nearly impossible to handle everything and make all the decisions. For instance, some of the routine decisions may be too minute and it would make sense for you to delegate those decision-making responsibilities. When this is done, a specific group or individual can be asked to engage in the decision-making activities for issues that fall under their respective spectrum of duties.
  • Strategic Decision-Making: When leading and managing an institute, you will often be charged with the responsibility to expand its operations, enhance the quality of learning, attract more students, form credible academic partnerships, and also raise the institute’s profit margins. All of these elements require strategic decision making wherein the leader has to select any of the chosen long-term objectives, devise a plan that outlines how they can be attained and the decisions that needs to be made in terms of allocating funds, hiring manpower, and many more. These strategic decisions require a thorough analysis of alternative options and are not impulsive calls made in a rush. A lot of research, due diligence, collaborative discussions, and critical thinking to become a successful strategic decision maker.
  • Unplanned Decision Making: Quite often, you may be pushed to face an unprecedented event such as an emergency wherein you have to make an unplanned and instantaneous decision in order to resolve the issue at hand. This is one of the trickiest types of decision making as you hardly get time to analyse the situation in depth, and the probability to making wrong decisions is much larger.

It is worth noting that one leader or manager usually has to engage in all of these aforementioned types of decision-making because their application varies across different situations and timelines. Likewise, the methods chosen to approach each of these types of decision making will also vary amongst different leaders. Education management courses with distance learning can be a potential solution for you to understand how each of these decision-making scenarios and types can be handled effectively. 


Written By : Shivangi Chakraborty

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