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Article Critique 6

Article critique

Phil, R 2013, ‘What Makes Strategic Decisions Different: You have to know what kind of decision you’re making in order to make it well’. Harvard Business Review, pp.88-93.


The success of any organization depends on the decisions which are made by the managers. There are various decisions which are made and can be appropriate in different situations. It is therefore important to make decisions based on the available circumstances. Despite the ability to make various decisions, the decisions have not been successful because the decisions are effective but they are applied in inappropriate situations (Phil 2013). This implies that the situation that needs the decision could not be solved. In this regard therefore, this article by Phil Rosenzweig will be criticized as well as providing the strengths and weaknesses of the article.

Article Summary

The article by Phil Rosenzweig “What Makes Strategic Decisions Different” summarized and is critically summarized in this section. According to Phil, the decisions made in an organization can be categorized into control decisions and performance. Control decisions are the decisions which are made to influence the outcome of the organization. On the other hand, performance decisions are the decisions which are made based on the outcome (Phil 2013). These are important decisions, but in most cases, they are not appropriate. In the first instance, control decisions may not be effective because there are changing circumstances which can affect the operations of the organization. In this effect, the changing business environment can make the control decision ineffective. On the other hand, performance decisions can be criticized because the next performance of the organization may not entirely depend on the past performance of the organization.

The article further notes that there are four fields for making decisions. The first one is the making routine choices and decisions (Daniel & Amos 2000). This is the buying field where a customer can buy the products based on personal judgment like buying products from a supermarket. However, there are other factors which can influence the individual to make a decision. For instance, social class can influence the decision of an individual.

There is also influencing outcomes field. In this situation, an individual is faced with a number of options to choose from. Positive thinking influences the individual in making the decision (Phil 2013). The critique of this field is that an individual may make a wrong judgment and the end result is that wrong option will be selected. Moreover, other decisions do not require options but it is upon the individual to apply effort to make a required decisions.

According to the author of the article, another field is placing the competitive bets. The success if any decisions or the performance of an organization depends on how the organization relates with others. This will create a good relationship with the stakeholders (Nightingale 2008). However, for any organization to make good profits it should be too much concerned with the welfare of others by engaging too much in corporate social responsibility because it will reduce the profits of the organization. The managers make decisions based on what the competitors are doing so that they can improve the performance of the organization. Making a decision based on the competitive bets is influenced by what the rivals are doing to attract and retain customers as well as improving the reputation of the organization. However, this field of decision has been criticized because the competitors can take a move which is difficult to emulate because of the large financial base which is required. The competitors can also formulate decisions which do not focus on customer satisfaction thus the competitors decisions might not be effective (Phil 2013). This implies that the decision should be made based on the strategy of the organization and how it will improve its performance and not on what the competitors are doing.

The fourth field of decision is strategic decisions. These are the long term strategic decisions which are made to enable the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. However, in most cases the long term decisions have not been fully implemented because of the changing business environment (Monahan 2000). The manager of an organization might formulate policies which are not flexible enough to meet the changes in the business environment. There are various factors which influence the strategic decisions of the organization like changes in technology which implies that the long term decisions should be flexible to accommodate the changes in the business environment.

Strengths and weaknesses of the article

The first strength of this article is that the author has supported his argument with relevant examples. In this regard, there is evidence that the literature which is being discussed in this article can be reliable (Hill & Gareth 2012). Any information which is provided without being packed by the relevant will not be reliable. In this article, therefore, the author has the strength of providing information, which is relevant and reliable.

The article also has the strength of using a language which can be understood by the reader. Because the author of the article did not clearly specify the readers of this article, it is important he used a language which can be easily understood by all levels of readers (Hill & Gareth 2012). The language is simple to read and understand and in this effect I am able to grasp all the opinions of the author. In addition, the article can be read by many people at all levels of management starting from the lowest level of management to top level of management.

On the hand, the article has weaknesses which the author could have improved on. The first weakness is that the author could have provided more information and more realistic examples which could help the understanding on the author (Kvint 2009). The article did not provide adequate, relevant examples which could have improved understanding of the contents being discussed in the article.

In addition, the article has the weakness of not providing relevant data which has been collected from the field concerning the aspects of decisions making (Anandarajan & Viger 2001). The author could have conducted primary research to collect data which could have been used to provide evidence by supporting the arguments. This is an important aspect since it helps to support the arguments of an individual and this could have made the article more evident and realistic.

My own Viewpoint

In my own point of view, I can agree with the author that managers in the modern business are faced with a number of issues when making decisions. In the first place, there are various situations which need to make decisions so as to improve the performance of the organization (Benford & Hunton 2000). The decisions made are based on the control and performance of the organization. I can agree with the author that the manager can make a decision which can determine the outcome of the organization. For instance, if the manager wants to improve the competitive advantage of the organization, he or she should develop unique strategies which can help to attract and retain customers.

Moreover, I can agree that majorly there are four levels of decision making. Although there are other fields of decisions, the major ones are placing competitive edge to create a competitive advantage; there are also decisions for making judgments and decisions for influencing the outcomes. There is also the field of making strategic decisions (Ben-Haim 2001). I can agree that these are the most important fields of making decisions. From these four basic fields of making decisions, there are other sub fields which can be derived to make effective decisions.

Despite the different decisions which can be made in an organization, the managers are faced with the challenge of achieving their goals and objectives. This is true because in the global business context, there are organizations which are performing well, but in a short while the performance of the organization falls (Pugh 2007). This is because there are effective decisions which are made by they are applied in the wrong context in the business. This is the reason why many organizations fail to achieve their set goals. It is therefore important for the management of the organizations to consider various factors which affect the decision making process like the changes in the business environment which could affect the effectiveness of the decisions made in the organization. This will help to improve the quality of decisions made and their effectiveness.


Decisions made in an organization determine the success of the organization. This is because the management of the organization can formulate decisions which can help to improve the reputation of the organization. The decision can be made based on the control and the performance of the organization. However, this has been criticized because there are many factors which influence decision making. Many managers of the organizations make effective decisions, but they apply them in wrong business context. The four fields of decision making are based on competitive edge, making judgments, influencing outcomes and making decisions for strategic management.


Anandarajan, A & Viger, C 2001, The role of quality cost information in decision making:

An experimental investigation of pricing decisions, Advances in Management Accounting, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 227-249.

Benford, T & Hunton, J 2000, Incorporating information technology considerations into

an expanded model of judgment and decision making in accounting. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 54-65.

Ben-Haim, Y 2001, Information-Gap Decision Theory. Academic Press.

Daniel, K & Amos, T 2000, Choice, Values, Frames. Cambridge University Press.

Hill, C & Gareth R. J 2012, Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach,

Cengage Learning.

Kvint, V 2009, The Global Emerging Market: Strategic Management and Economics. Routeledge.

Monahan, G 2000, Management Decision Making. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press. pp. 33–40

Nightingale, J 2008, Think smart act smart: Avoiding the business mistakes that even

intelligent people make, John Wiley & Sons.

Phil, R 2013, ‘What Makes Strategic Decisions Different: You have to know what kind of decision you’re making in order to make it well’. Harvard Business Review, pp.88-93

Pugh, D. S 2007, Organization theory, London, Penguin.