3Traceability and Structuring of Decision-making

3.1. Decision-making

Decision-making is defined as a choice done by one or several actors, when exploring several alternatives. Aristotle [ARI 72] defines a decision as thinking resulting from an individual or collaborative deliberation. In psychology, decision-making is considered as thinking in which an actor facing a problem or achieving a goal uses expectations related to future events, similar real-life decision consequences, preferences, believes, etc. [RET 01]. In sociology, decision-making is modeled as games or action theories.

But the main theory that marks the current organization’s management is the limited rationality defined by Simon [SIM 77]. Simon proposes to study decision-making as a rational process that can be modeled as a cognitive process with different satisfaction criteria. Related to this theory, several activities, which are at the beginning considered as chaotic and appealing to creativity, such as design, are modeled in a process combining a workflow with environments constraints and actors goals.

Table 3.1. Decision-level characteristics

Characteristics Strategic Tactical Operational
Field of decision Relationship with the environment Resource management Resource use in the process of transformation
Timescale Long term Medium term Short term
Effect of decision Durable Short Very short
Reversibility of the decision Null Low Height
Decision procedure Non-programmable Semi-programmable ...

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