Organisational Decision Making: What lies beneath managers’ decisions

Natalie Marguet
24 April 2017

Natalie Marguet is currently a PhD student at Alliance Manchester Business School.  The session focuses on an emergent and unexpected finding of her PhD that is aligned with VSM.

Her PhD uses Personal Construct Theory and organisational sensemaking to explore the ways that decision are actually made within organisations. The research considers three interconnected levels of decision making (individual, group and organisation) and utilises a  long standing and well proven 'thinking device' known as a Repertory Grid. The visualisation of the intertwined individual and group decisions permitted a description of the organisational decision from the decision makers themselves.  Further providing the ability to map and quantify the interwoven terrain of an organisational decision. Thrusting managers to refocus and move beyond words, assumptions, clichés and banalities and engage with a reflective person centred approach to decision making practices.  From such a perspective, Stafford Beer's (1979) Viable System Model emerged, supporting a view that the viable system model is not simply a theoretical framework of how a system should operate.  The findings demonstrate that systems do operate in accordance with VSM principles.