Critical Thinking: The Decision Making Process
When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? This assignment asks you to apply a six-step to problem solving process to a specific problem scenario. You will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem using this systematic approach. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
Scenario: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree, when a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees, so you know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.
Review the six-step problem solving process outlined in the webtext, based on the article “The Problem Solving Process ” located at http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html:
Critical Thinking: The Decision Making Process
The problem-solving process has been a challenge for individuals, groups, and organizations since the procedure that works effectively in a particular context might be a failure in another situation. To overcome these challenges, GDRC, in the article “The Problem Solving Process,” presents six-steps that guide individuals, groups, and organizations to think critically and adopt the right decision processes to resolve problems. Using the six steps in the article, this paper solves the issue presented in the scenario where an individual has to decide between finishing their final exam or forgoing it for the promotion position in another company.
The main problem here is to earn a promotion. This is the problem that has influenced me to go back to acquire a bachelor’s degree so that I can increase my chances of earning the promotion in my organization. Choosing promotion as the problem aligns with argument by GDRC that defining the problem needs the individual to decide their target goals to avoid getting lost on what they are trying to solve. The success of defining the problem correctly lies in the ability of the individual to understand the ideal problem and its degree of certainty (Vizioli & Kaminsk, 2017). My core problem, as presented in the scenario, is how I can increase the chances of getting promoted.Problem Analysis
The need to earn a promotion is the primary source of the problem. This is the problem that influences me to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree to increase the probability of getting a promotion. Now, I am almost done, and I am about to sit for my final exams. However, the opportunity for promotion from another company presents itself. This puts me in a dilemma because if I go this promotion opportunity, it will interfere with my final exam, and I might not graduate on time. The new job position comes as a solution to the problem of my promotion but presents another problem since I have to go to college immediately to earn a Master’s degree. This is because all supervisors in the new company have a Master’s degree, and for me to meet the acceptable qualifications of the supervisor, I must earn one. For me to enroll for a Master’s degree, I must finish a Bachelor’s degree program first. The new company offers me many benefits, including an annual salary increase and car allowances. However, these benefits do not include tuition fees, which my current company is offering.
Generating Possible Solutions
So far, I have discovered the real problem, and as such, I need to establish possible solutions, which can solve the prevailing dilemma. This step involves generating all the possible solutions. The solutions should be evaluated keenly to ensure that the selected choice will not lead to other problems (GDRC, n.d.). Sousa, Pellissier, & Monteiro (2009) noted that the selected solution should meet certain conditions or should be based on specific criteria. In developing the possible solutions, I have set particular conditions that the solutions should meet by consulting the discussion of (Weebly, 2018):
- The solution should solve the problem.
- The solution should be realistic.
- The solution should be ethical
- The solution should be economic
- The solution should be beneficial
- The benefits from the solution should be significant
- The solution should not be harmful in any way
- The solution must be clear.
Based on the scenario under exploration, the potential solutions are joining the new company and staying in my current organization. The direct potential solutions are more like hypotheses, as discussed by Figliuolo (2019) since they will enable me to prioritize, analyze, and evaluate. The two direct solutions are most appropriate since they will aid me in solving my problem of earning a promotion.
Analyzing The Solutions
This stage evaluates the potential solutions to determine their appropriateness in solving the problem. The two solutions selected in the previous step are beneficial in solving the problem. Joining the new organization comes as a short-term solution for earning a promotion. At this point, I do not need a degree to increase my chances of getting a promotion since the chance has already presented itself.
However, if I go for a supervisor position in a competing company, I might land myself to more problems. For example, I will need to upgrade my education to the Master’s level, and I am the one who will meet the tuition expense. Meeting the tuition cost on my own will reduce the benefits and compensation I will be earning from the new job position. Also, joining the new company will deviate from my long-term goal of getting the degree to increases my chances of promotion. Short-term solutions have proved to be the deterrence of the long term goals (Greco & Maria, 2020). As such, I might end failing to achieve my long term goal satisfactorily if I go with this choice. Staying in the current organization is not a guarantee that I will earn a promotion. Earning a degree while working for my current organization only increases my chances of promotion. Therefore, if I go with this decision, I might not solve my problem immediately. However, in the long run, the organization might consider my promotion considering that it has invested in my skills through training and development by meeting the cost of my tuition fees. I might also join for Masters immediately after finishing the Bachelor’s degree since my organization is willing to meet the costs.
Selecting the Best Solution
Based on the two solutions, I would select staying in my current organization. Joining the competing company meets my conditions except that it does not meet the criteria of being ethical and economic. It will be unethical for me to leave my current organization when they have met the cost of my tuition fees and join the competing company. Secondly, I am yet to graduate and contribute to my organization’s performance using newly acquired knowledge. The solution might also be uneconomical, putting into consideration that I will need to pursue a Master’s degree immediately to suit the qualifications of all supervisors in the new organization. I will be going for a Master’s degree at my own cost since the new company will not cater for my tuition.
On the other hand, I can stick to my current organization, earn my Bachelor’s degree, earn a promotion and still go back to school to pursue my Master’s degree since the company will pay the tuition fee. Staying in my current organization comes out as the best option since it meets all my conditions. The promotion might not come immediately, but in the long run, I am sure I will earn a promotion. My organization has already motivated me through training and career development, and I am hopeful they will continue with the same spirit of motivation to award me a promotion. Staying in my current organization is ethical and more beneficial than joining a competing company.
Planning the Next Course of Action
I will decline the offer from the competing company and stay in my current organization. I will tell my former supervisor that I am currently focused on my final exams, so I would not be able to join their organization. However, I will let him know that I will be available in case of a similar job position in the future. I will concentrate on my final exams, graduate, and continue working for my organization as I wait for the promotion. Whether I will have gotten a promotion or not, I will request my organization meet my Master’s program expenses. Having a Master’s degree increases my chances of earning more beneficial job positions in my organization as well as increasing my chances of working in other big companies in the industry.
Problem-solving demands critical thinking skills to understand the problem and propose appropriate solutions that will not cause another problem. There might be more solutions for the scenario under examination. However, based on the conditions that solutions should meet, the most suitable solutions are to join the new organization or stay in my current company. Joining the new organization would mean postponing my final exams as well as my graduation and earning the promotion chance immediately. However, this might be problematic since I will need to enroll for a Master’s degree immediately and at my own cost. Staying in my current organization presents the best choice because I will earn my degree, get a promotion, and later I can enroll for a Master’s program with the cost being met by the company.
Figliuolo, M. (2019). 5 Steps to Solving the Problems With Your Problem Solving. Retrieved from Inc.: https://www.inc.com/mike-figliuolo/decision-making-process.html
GDRC. (n.d.). The Problem Solving Process. Retrieved from Environmental Decision-Making: http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html
Greco, L. M., & Maria, K. L. (2020). Goal-Setting in the Career Management Process: An Identity Theory Perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105(1), 40 –57. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/apl-apl0000424.pdf
Sousa, F., Pellissier, R., & Monteiro, I. (2009). Creativity And Problem-Solving in the Development of Organizational Innovation. Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers, 1-8. Retrieved from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/61502701.pdf
Vizioli, R., & Kaminsk, P. C. (2017). Problem Definition As A Stimulus To The Creative Process Analysis Of A Classroom Exercise. Journal of Technology and Science Education, 7(3), 274-290. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1156117.pdf
Weebly. (2018). Step 3: Generate Solutions. Retrieved from https://problemsolvinggroups.weebly.com/step-3-generate-solutions.html