Today’s business world is characterized by a complex non-linear environment, non-hierarchical organization structures, multi-country and de-centralized operations, etc. The prominent models of decision-making that were primarily developed with the industrial economy in mind, and that viewed decision-making as a couple of linear sequential steps and “decisions given-and-decisions followed” — might not work too well. Knowledge-based economies call for developing decision-making models that represent the complexity of the present world business. Under such context, we present an alternative approach to studying management decision-making — seeking inspiration from the natural/biological systems. Bees show similar behavior in their foraging activities, as a single objective management decision-making problem. The uniqueness of the developed model lies in its ability to explain the major properties of a complex system, and the value that emergence (of a decision) brings to a company.
Hans Müller is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Information Science at Stellenbosch University, most recently focusing on in Decision-making in large organization. He is also the Director of the Centre for Knowledge Dynamics and Decision Making, hosting a range of research, consultation and community involvement projects. His involvement in the training for and use of Parmenides Eidos suite of strategic decision tools is a regular outlet for support of integrated strategic decision making. He has built up a series of interconnected research outputs and projects related to social values – some in comparative sociology and some in management theory. The most important has lead to publications in the role of values in development in Southern Africa and the role of values discourses in strategy development in organizations in turbulent conditions. He has supervised 21 research Masters theses to completion and has been the promoter or co-promoter for two completed Doctoral dissertations.