Decision making principles in management

First of all, let's describe the basic mechanisms of interaction between people, a sort of materials used for joining the bricks of management hierarchy, our company, family and state relations. There are three of them: I can order someone to do something — «authoritarizm», I can ask someone to do something on certain conditions or without them — «compromise», I can wait until my partner takes the initiative and performs corresponding actions — «consensus». 
 
Consensus
 
Consensus is a Japanese style of decision-making, i.e. keep discussing until the decision appears and becomes obvious, or until any participant takes the responsibility for some decision. Thus, the decision is accepted only in case it is clear for all the participants or at least for several ones.
 
This system of decision-making is the most effective one from the point of view of the minimization of risk. It is characterized by a strong discipline of its participants, and consequently high product quality. However this system is rather slow, having a high risk of refusal and breakdown in strong dynamic processes. As a rule, such management systems are used on the top management level. One of the important criteria of its use is almost equal social position of the participants. However, the last thesis is not always obligatory, but the involving of less socially provided members requires professional growth prospects (career — it is like the Japanese experience, is not it?). In Russia this system is used as a means of operation for one of the two reasons: either it does not suggest any growth prospects, or the latter do not assume growth of social well-being.
 
Human factor in the given system almost does not influence the decision making, because the decision, even though accepted by one person, is supposed to represent the essence of a collective product of thinking, because every member believes in the correctness of accepted decisions.
 
Compromise
 
«You give me — I give you », i.e. a decision is accepted at the level of some compromises. The decision can be right or wrong, and the one responsible for it will either be rewarded or not. This system of decision-making is very dynamic and operative and guarantees a social growth to its participants. This system represents the basis of any young business.
 
However, this principle cannot always give the best results due to the subjectivity of both problem statement and the evaluation of product quality (are the best results so necessary, given the limited time of the product use?). This is a typical principle according to which the American society works, where everything has it own cost, where professional rises and falls depend on correct and timely accepted decisions, and the latter is very well paid.
 
This method is strongly subjective, being dependent on certain people and used as a rule for building average management levels. It is the area where a conservative way of thinking can bring only good (for example, doctors, teachers, etc.).
 
Authoritarizm
 
Authoritarizm is the style of management accepted in the military forces. The responsibility for accepted decisions lays at the top level of hierarchy, while the bottom levels of hierarchy implicitly carry out the orders of the higher ones.
 
This style of management is highly operative not only in terms of time, but also in terms of the scale of ranks (otherwise it would not be used in the army), it is also completely subjective and conservative. The efficiency of this principle depends entirely on the accurate and detailed statement of the problem on higher levels. The given system requires strong rules and algorithms for performance of various actions; otherwise the system stays idle or carries out false commands. Along with that the system is conservative and has a slight feedback, as the principles of management in military forces have hardly changed for many years.
 
 
It will be wrong to say, that any of the three listed systems is ideal from the point of view of management and decision-making. Each of them is good enough only in case it is properly used in specific time and conditions. That means that the style of management may change if the external changes occur. For example, in crisis period the transition from the compromise to the authoritative system for the bottom management staff can significantly increase labor productivity (this method was used by lots of enterprises during the Second World War).
 
Unfortunately, there are not so many companies in the world, which have the rules of control systems usage. It is quite clear, that a skilled manager, using his own experience, applies principles of management style variation. However, it is rather dangerous to make a manager the only one responsible for it, as it has often caused the crash of many companies. The manager accepts a wrong decision, and using the authoritative principle, forces the whole company's structure to work accordingly («They misunderstood me, so they made it all wrong» — how often we hear it). On the other hand, if we use the consensus principle, a sluggish decision-making can provoke an effect of delay. In this case no one will be responsible for the company's crash — it will be regarded as a bad destiny. It is necessary to mention that while creating management algorithms it is important to determine the management concepts accepted in the company. I mean that one staff member can understand something well, while for another one it may be not so apparent.
 
All the three principles are usually applied in state management. Consensus principle is used by legislative bodies or consultative («we keep discussing until we find the truth»). The principle of compromise is used by executive bodies (carry out our orders, and we will pay your wages, and later and pension). Authoritarizm is used in church, where the true is undisputable and subject to obligatory execution («do not kill, do not steal, do not be vulgar, etc.»). All these directions should naturally exist in a certain balance, otherwise there will occur different kinds of dictatorships and burn the fires with heretics, and the democracy (or parity relations between the authorities) will remain a dream.