Glossary BA: Decision Making


Key Term



A process designed to achieve an organisation's objectives by using its resources effectively and efficiently in a changing environment.


Those individuals in organisations who make decisions about the use of resources and who are concerned with planning, organising, leading, and controlling the organisation's activities to reach its objectives.


The process of determining the organisation's objectives and deciding how to accomplish them; the first function of management.


A management function that includes designing the structure of the organisation and creating conditions and systems in which everyone and everything work together to achieve the organisation's goals and objectives.


A management function that includes hiring, motivating, and retaining the best people available to accomplish the company's objectives.


Motivating and leading employees to achieve organisational objectives.


A management function that involves determining whether or not an organisation is progressing toward its goals and objectives, and taking corrective action if it is not.

mission (statement)

A summary of the essential aim or purpose of the organisation; its essential reason for being in business.

strategic plans

Those plans that establish the long-range objectives and overall strategy or course of action by which a firm fulfils its mission.

tactical plans

Short-range plans designed to implement the activities and objectives specified in the strategic plan.

operational plans

Very short-term plans that specify what actions individuals, work groups, or departments need to accomplish in order to achieve the tactical plan and ultimately the strategic plan.

crisis management

How the organisation (a) seeks to reduce the likelihood of, and (b) manages in the event of, a major disturbance which has the potential to damage the organisation's assets or reputation. Some crises are the result of mismanagement or inadequate controls; others begin outside the organisation and may be unavoidable.

contingency planning

An element in planning that deals with potential disasters such as product tampering, oil spills, fire, earthquake, computer virus, or airplane crash.

top management

Highest level of management, consisting of the president and other key company executives who develop strategic plans.

top managers

The president and other top executives of a business, such as the CEO, CFO, and COO who have overall responsibility for the organisation.

chief executive officer CEO

Individual responsible for the long-range, strategic direction of the company.

chief financial officer CFO

Individual responsible for the overall financial health and strategy of a company.

chief operations officer COO

Individual responsible for a company's internal day-to-day operations.

middle management

The level of management that includes general managers, division managers, and branch and plant managers who are responsible for tactical planning and controlling.

first-line managers

Those who supervise both workers and the daily operations of an organisation.

areas of management

Different fields of work where managers need to be active.

financial management

The job of managing a firm's resources so it can meet its goals and objectives.

production and operations managers

Those who develop and administer the activities involved in transforming resources into goods, services, and ideas ready for the marketplace.

human resources management

The process of evaluating human resource needs, finding people to fill those needs, and getting the best work from each employee by providing the right incentives and job environment, all with the goal of meeting the needs of the firm.

marketing management

The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services (products) to create mutually beneficial exchanges.

administrative managers

Those who manage an entire business or a major segment of a business; they are not specialists but coordinate the activities of specialised managers.


The ability to influence employees to work toward organisational goals.

manager‘s skills

Different abilities that a decision maker needs to have.

technical expertise

The specialised knowledge and training needed to perform jobs that are related to particular areas of management.

conceptual skills

The ability to think in abstract terms, to see how parts fit together to form a whole.

analytical skills

The ability to identify relevant issues, recognise their importance, understand the relationships between them, and perceive the underlying causes of a situation.

human relations skills

Skills that involve communication and motivation; they enable managers to work through and with people.


A calendar, containing both specific and vague items, that covers short-term goals and long-term objectives.


The building of relationships and sharing of information with colleagues who can help managers achieve the items on their agendas.

leadership styles

Different ways how managerial decisions may be reached.

autocratic leadership

Leadership style that involves making managerial decisions without consulting others.

democratic leadership

Leadership style that consists of managers and employees working together to make decisions.

free-rein leadership

Leadership style that involves managers setting objectives and employees being relatively free to do whatever it takes to accomplish those objectives.

theory X

McGregor's traditional view of management whereby it is assumed that workers generally dislike work and must be forced to do their jobs.

theory Y

McGregor's humanistic view of management whereby it is assumed that workers like to work and will normally seek out responsibility to satisfy their social, esteem, and self-actualisation needs.

decision making

Choosing among two or more alternatives.


To make decisions, to choose among alternatives.


The processes through which the organisation's chosen and intended strategies are made to happen.


To control the implementation of decisions.