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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Decision Analysis Techniques for Adult Learners: Application to Leadership
by Toosi, Farah, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2017, 142; 10600190
Abstract (Summary)

Most decision analysis techniques are not taught at higher education institutions. Leaders, project managers and procurement agents in industry have strong technical knowledge, and it is crucial for them to apply this knowledge at the right time to make critical decisions. There are uncertainties, problems, and risks involved in business processes. Decisions must be made by responsible parties to address these problems in order to sustain and grow the company business.

This study investigates some of the most recognized decision analysis techniques applied by global leaders from 2006 to 2016. Several decision analysis tools are introduced such as heuristic decisions, multi-attribute rating, decision trees, Monte-Carlo simulations and influence diagrams. The theoretical development framework is presented. The approach for this research is Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE), which included cognitive, behavioral, and constructive learning theories. Some of the top decision analysis skills needed for today’s leaders and managers from literature review over the past decade (2006 to 2016), were taught to organization leadership doctorate students. Research scheme, the method chosen for selecting the topic, group of contributors, and the method selected for collecting the data are offered.

The learners were in their senior year of a leadership doctorate program and they did not need leadership training along with decision analysis technique training. Older learners had more interest in learning the fishbone and influence diagrams prior to the training. Students with intermediate math were more interested in learning about strategic planning techniques before training. The trainees with more computer skills were interested in learning the Zachman framework technique, which was surprising to the researcher since this tool does not require extensive computer skills.

After the training, the researcher observed that learners with higher computer skills showed more interest in learning about group decision-making (consensus versus analytic hierarchy process). That students with intermediate math skills were more interested in top-down induction of decision trees, algorithm decision making (data mining and knowledge discovery), and strategic planning techniques.

Spearman correlations with a moderate strength showed that older respondents tended to be more interested in the analytical hierarchy process, fishbone diagram, and risk analysis tool. After the training, students with stronger computer skills showed greater curiosity about learning more about the decision tree analysis, Zachman framework, and risk analysis. It made sense that students with weaker computer skills were less eager to learn about the Monte-Carlo simulation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schmieder-Ramirez, June
Commitee: Cooper, Christie, Tobin, John
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Adult education
Keywords: Andragogy, Cognitive learning, Decision analysis, Decision theory, Leadership, Risk analysis
Publication Number: 10600190
ISBN: 978-0-355-20608-1
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