Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Decision making is the primary function of administrators in formal organizations, which are, essentially, decision-making structures. The centrality of decision making was established early in the development of organizational theory. In his seminal 1957 work on administration, Herbert Simon contended that a truly comprehensive theory of administration must include principles that will ensure correct decision making. Daniel E. Griffith, in 1959, equated administration and decision making. Griffith contended that decision-making processes shaped the structure of organizations. Moreover, the organizational rank of an administrator is directly related to the control he or she exerts over the decision-making process and is inversely proportional to the number of decisions the administrator makes personally. Early organizational theorists asserted that decision-making should be rationalized and systematized through the application of logical-mathematical methods. In the classical model, decision making is a rational activity the purpose of which is to maximize the achievement of organizational goals. Decision ...