Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Nature of the Relationship Between Decision-Driven Scenarios and Decision Confidence in High-Velocity Environments
by Moretto, Laila, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2012, 169; 3502330
Abstract (Summary)

Leaders are nearly always involved in decision making (Heller, 1992) and, according to Eisenhardt (1989), decision makers in high-velocity environments seek multiple alternatives and as such have confidence in what they have considered. Weaving leaders as decision makers with Eisenhardt's findings, this study focused on scenario planning as the decision making approach. Chermack's scenario planning theory provided the foundational theoretical anchoring for this qualitative study.

Hour-long semistructured interviews were used to collect data from 14 leaders who used scenarios to make decisions in high-velocity environments. The research methodology used was Merriam's (2009) "basic qualitative" methodology, also referred to as an interpretive research type. The unit of analysis of this study was the individual. Data were analyzed following Creswell's (2009) six-step data analysis method. Six themes were identified from the interviews: (1) Context and objectives are critical to any decision considerations; (2) preparation and experience play a role in decision confidence when using decision-driven scenarios; (3) people are at the heart of any decision; (4) decisions in any given scenario depend on the criticality of the situation; (5) innate traits for betterment and goodness can be evident even in decision-driven scenarios; and (6) decision-driven scenarios provide comfort and confidence in the decisions. Thus, the study found that several factors influence leaders' perceived decision confidence when using decision scenarios in high-velocity environments, and the three primary ones based on frequency of codes appear to be context and objectives, preparedness, and people.

Further research may consider extending Chermack's scenario planning theory to the individual level and quantitatively testing the significance of each factor that emerged from this study. This study suggests employing the factors that emerged from this study in the workplace, especially in leadership development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burley, Diana
Commitee: Hill, Vanessa, Szabla, David
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Decision confidence, Decision-making, High-velocity environments, Scenario planning, Scenarios
Publication Number: 3502330
ISBN: 9781267252050
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