Communication and Decision Making

Abstract

Heuristics are strategies that people use in making decisions thus coming up with appropriate solutions to existing problems. The assurance that these strategies eventually lead to the right solutions is elusive. This paper concentrates on decision making heuristics such as representativeness, availability and anchoring.

These heuristics are used together with effective communication strategies in an effort to convince an individual to make appropriate choices especially during the hiring process. In addition to heuristic decision making, the paper explores ethical and legal implications an individual experiences when making decisions based on wrong heuristics.

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Introduction

The company I work for has concluded the process of interviewing candidates in a bid to fill a vacant position. One of the candidates, a Hispanic woman has caught my attention as the best candidate for the job. She has a master’s degree in marketing and has experience of over 20 years working with our rival. The problem is that my co- worker does not think the candidate is fit for the position. This is in spite of the fact that he doesn’t have a reason to reject the candidate. My job is to persuade him to change is mind.

Heuristics in Decision making

Representative and availability heuristics are normally used when making decisions when hiring a candidate for a vacant position (Page, 2008). In this case my co- worker is affected by representative heuristic thus coming up with the conclusion that the Hispanic woman is not fit for the job.

This is because he did not have a solid reason to block her hiring. All he says is that she is not the right person for the job. I conclude that he is simply being judgmental and discriminatory. People affected by the representativeness believe that things appear and occur randomly.

My co- worker concluded that the candidate is not fit for the job probably because she is a woman. There is a possibility that my co- worker feels intimidated because she is experienced and well educated. It is also possible that such a decision was a result of previous associations of the potential recruit with a rival company. Another possible reason for my co workers action may be in line with the fact that the potential recruit is Hispanic thus existence of racial issues.

Ethical and Legal Implications

A number of legal and ethical implications exist in reference to this matter. First my co- worker is being unethical as seen in his qualifications that makes one believe that he should perform exceptionally well in making such decisions. He fails to achieve such a feat.

It is unethical to be discriminatory to candidates based on personal biases. It is clear that my co-worker is biased because the Hispanic candidate is highly qualified as evident in her experience and education. If my co workers reasons for not hiring the Hispanic candidate are insufficient and unfounded, it can lead to serious legal implications (Duquenoy & George, 2008).

Decision making concepts for persuading others & eliminating bias in decision making

In an effort to persuade my co- worker, I would use the three main models/ concepts of decision making. The first one is decision making under perfect information. This is evident in my co- workers knowledge on the candidate’s qualities thus ability to facilitate her hiring. The Hispanic candidate is experienced, she could therefore figure out concepts that are a prerequisite of the requirements. The candidate was obviously smart with good credentials and appropriate knowledge.

Another concept I would use to persuade my co- worker to hire the candidate was decision making with sampling information. In this case I would persuade my co- worker to examine the candidates resume once more and if necessary put her under a second interview to ascertain her qualifications (University of Michigan, 2009).

My co-worker could be worried that the candidate may not work in a team or even manage a team. The ability of the Hispanic candidate to lead, make decisions and fuel change is therefore in question. I would encourage my co-worker to test the Hispanic’s candidate interpersonal skills and her ability to lead.

It would be an assurance to him that in the event that she failed the test she will subsequently lose her opportunity. A useful concept in decision making that is likely to come in handy in such an event is sampling information. In this case I would point out to my co- worker that the existing information absolves the candidate.

Conclusion

Little can be done to prevent or at least discourage employers from making decisions prior to analysis of a particular matter. The only remedies that seem to work in making such corrections involve an on- the job evaluation and educating the employers on proper decision making concepts.

References

Duquenoy, P. & George, C. (2008). Ethical, legal, and social issues in medical informatics. Hershey: Idea Group Inc (IGI).

Page, S. (2008). The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

University of Michigan. (October 2009). Publications. Volume 283. University of Michigan. Institute of Social Research.

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