Management Strategy and Decision Making
Research in this dynamic area of business aims to provide a more objective and rational approach to decision-making by gathering the necessary and sufficient information required to make thoughtful and intelligent business decisions in complex environments.
This involves looking at the multitude of issues and alternatives that are a part of any economic, political, social and cultural context in which businesses operate, and to which they need to respond. Research in this area also helps to support groups to negotiate towards an agreed decision that is feasible, both politically and in terms of resources available.
Key areas of interest in Decision Making include gaining a comprehensive and systemic view of risk; understanding alternatives – for example, by assessing all possibilities against a set of agreed-upon criteria; determining and prioritising issues surrounding a challenge or problem; and simulating behaviour to explore a range of scenarios before committing to a plan of actions.
Research approaches are both quantitative and qualitative, with analysis frequently using computer-generated modelling in order to manage – rather than reduce – complexity, undertake analysis, and incorporate features such as anonymity and productivity. Researchers have sub-specialty expertise in Decision Support Systems and Group Decision Support Systems.
Studies from Decision Making have been used in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors with large and small, national and international organisations. Models are developed so as to be accessible to both senior management and to middle and junior teams – depending on the particular focus of a study. Specific projects have focused, for example, on both the health and prison systems to assess issues in service provision and strategies, as well as complex engineering and mining projects in the private sector
The Management Strategy component of this research theme encompasses areas of interest such as strategic management, organisational behavior, transformative business development, and organisational change and development, including the consideration of issues such as strategic intention and strategic drift.
Underpinned by decision-making theory and practice, Management Strategy incorporates an emphasis on stakeholder management and competitive advantage with work on scenario development and performance measurement complementing this avenue. This includes approaches to understanding staff and stakeholder capabilities and interests in harnessing and creating innovative and robust strategic directions.
Academics also have expertise in modeling the disruption and delay of ‘mega projects’ using a mixed methodology approach and advanced processes and techniques for risk assessment and management.
Higher degree by research students wishing to study in this theme will have outstanding academic supervisors, with strong research expertise and international qualifications, available to them.