Sunday, August 27, 2006

Management Lite & Ezy 3 - More on Decision Making

3) More on Decision Making

In my earlier post I wrote about four styles of decision making – decisive, flexible, hierarchic and integrative.

During the 2004 US Presidential Election campaign, George Bush ridiculed John Kerry for being indecisive. Perhaps Kerry should have defended himself by stressing that he was flexible or participative (i.e. integrative).

Let’s see what Brousseau etc. write in their article…

“As you move up the ladder, you move further and further away from where the action takes place, so it is easy to lose touch with what’s really going on in the organization. It’s essential to use a leadership style that keeps information pipeline open and the data flowing freely, so you have access to the best information and analysis. That’s why the flexible and integrative styles dominate at the senior executive level.”

“At lower levels, the priority is to keep everyone focused on immediate tasks and getting the work done. At higher levels, that doesn’t work anymore. Decision styles become more about listening than telling, more about understanding than directing.”

Ok, the above are the views of Brousseau etc. How about my personal opinion?

I do agree that decisiveness is important in the time war, and Bush has billed himself as the President of War. But I gather that he needs to adjust his style when dealing with other issues, such as economy, diplomacy and environment.


Brousseau, K.R., Driver, M.J., Hourihan, G., Larsson, R. (2006). The Seasoned Executive’s Decision Making Style. Harvard Business Review, Feb 2006, 114.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why I started this Blog?

Malaysian newspaper, The Star, has a ‘citizen's blog' at this URL…

I used to post there. Unfortunately, moderator of this blog was too conservative, and had censored many of my posts. I decided to use other means to express my views and opinions.

At the mean time, I enrolled in an MBA program. I wanted to share the knowledge I learned from class or from books with my relatives/friends.

That’s why I started this blog.

While Management Lite & Ezy will be the regular here, I'll also post photos and occasionally discuss other topics.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Management Lite & Ezy 2 - Decision Making

I change the title from MBA Lite & Ezy to Management Lite & Ezy.

(2) Decision Making

According to Brousseau etc. (2006), decision styles differ in two fundamental ways: how information is used and how options are created. Based on these two criteria, they identify four styles of decision making: decisive (little information, one course of action); flexible (little information, many options); hierarchic (lots of data, one course of action); and integrative (lots of data, many options).

This matrix below summarizes these four styles of decision making. Click to view a bigger image.

More on this topic in a few days. Stay tuned.


Brousseau, K.R., Driver, M.J., Hourihan, G., Larsson, R. (2006). The Seasoned Executive’s Decision Making Style. Harvard Business Review, Feb 2006, 111-121.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kuta Beach, Bali

MBA Lite & Ezy

OK, OK, this is not really an MBA course, and I am no management guru. In fact, I am just an MBA student. I am trying to summarize what I learn in the class, or from the books, and post them on my site.

Some friends of mine are dreaming of becoming billionaires. Perhaps my ‘lesson summary’ will help them.

Lesson 1: Marketing is NOT Sales

Sales is not marketing. There are a lot of confusions here. The employers don’t help by giving the title Marketing Executive to their salespersons.

What, exactly, is marketing?

American Marketing Association gives the following definition:

“Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”

Note the keywords – creating, communicating and delivering.

Another way to look at marketing is to understand the four Ps. They are:

Product – product variety, quality, design, features, brand name, packaging, sizes, services, warranties, returns

Price – list price, discounts, allowances, payment period, credit terms

Promotion – sales promotion, advertising, sales force, public relations, direct marketing

Place – channels, coverage, assortments, locations, inventory, transport

Again as you can see from the list, sales is just a subset of marketing. Now ask yourself – how comprehensive are your company’s marketing activities?

Reference: Kotler & Keller, “Marketing Management”, 12th edition