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Handbook of Decision Analysis by Eric R. Johnson, PhD, Steven N. Tani, PhD,, Terry Bresnick, MBA, Gregory S. Parnell, PhD

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Design Creative Alternatives

STEVEN N. TANI and GREGORY S. PARNELL

Alternatives are the raw material of decision making. They represent the range of potential choices you have for pursuing your objectives. Because of the their central importance, you need to establish and maintain a high standard for generating alternatives

—Hammond et al. (1999)

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have

—Emile Chartier, French philosopher

8.1 Introduction
8.2 Characteristics of a Good Set of Alternatives
8.3 Obstacles to Creating a Good Set of Alternatives
8.4 The Expansive Phase of Creating Alternatives
8.5 The Reductive Phase of Creating Alternatives
8.6 Improving the Set of Alternatives
8.7 Illustrative Examples
8.7.1 Roughneck North American Strategy (by Eric R. Johnson)
8.7.2 Geneptin Personalized Medicine (by Sean Xinghua Hu)
8.7.3 Data Center Location (by Gregory S. Parnell)
8.8 Summary
Key Words
References

8.1 Introduction

Identifying a good set of alternatives is an important part of decision making. In most decision situations, it is quite easy to identify an initial set of alternatives. Should we close the factory or invest in upgrading its technology? Should we proceed with development of Product A or Product B or both?

The challenge for any decision practitioner is to help the client push beyond the initial set of alternatives and to lead a search for additional, possibly much better, alternatives. This is an opportunity to create great ...

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