Decision-Making: Meaning and Definition

A decision is the selection of a course of action (or decision) out of many available alternatives. The marketing manager may be arrived to a particular decision by analyzing, evaluating and carefully planning.

The decision making is the basic and fundamental key of all managerial activities. It is the study of identifying and choosing best possible choice (or option) based on the values and preferences of the business organization.

  • Haynes and Massie: “Decision-Making is a process of selection from a set of alternative courses of action which is thoughtful to fulfill the objective of the decision problem more satisfactorily than others.”
  • Philip Kotler: “A decision may be defined as a conscious choice among alternative courses of action.”
  • Peter F. Ducker: “Whatever a manager does he does through making decisions.”
  • E. Mc. Farland: “A decision is an act of choice wherein an executive forms a conclusion about what must be done in a given situation. A decision represents a behavior chosen from a noumber of possible alternatives.”
  • George R. Terry: “Decision making is the selection based on some criteria from two or more possible alternatives.”
  • Koontz & O’Donnel: “Decision is the selection from among alternatives of a course of actions.”
  • Franklin G. Moore: “Decision making is the blend of thinking, deciding and acting.”
  • Ernest Dale: “Marketing decisions are those decisions which are always made in the course of one of true management activities, planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, innovation and representation.”
  • Mary Cushing Nites: “Decision making takes place in adopting objectives and choosing the means, and again when a change in the situation creates a necessity for adjustments.”

Thus, the marketing decision making refers to decisions about marketing instruments that affect marketing activities like planning, organizing, directing, controlling, staffing, etc.

Characteristics/ Nature of Decision-Making

The process of decision making is to recognize and define the nature of a decision situation and select the best possible alternative from among the available alternatives and put it into practice Usually, a decision is expressed as a policy or as a rule or as an order or as a directive of the business enterprise. The elements of decision making can be expressed as follows:

Selective Process

Decision making is the selective process in which the best possible alternative is chosen out of many alternatives available. The best choice can be made only by evaluation of alternatives.  If there is only one way of doing a particular act, there is no need of taking selective decision.

Human and rational process

The decision-making is a human and rational process that involves the application of intellectual abilities like deep thinking and foreseeing things.

Dynamic Process

The decision-making is a dynamic process. It involves time dimension and time lag. Depending upon the situation, a particular problem may have different decisions at different time intervals.

Continuous Process

Decision making is a continuous process which goes on through the life of an organization. It is a process of taking a decision, implementing it, following the variations and taking the actions to remove these variations. In other words, it is a never ending activity in business management.


There must be healthy atmosphere to achieve the corporate goals of the business enterprise. Thus, to implement the decisions regarding to it, the proper communication between the employee and employer is necessary.

Goal oriented process

Decision-making aims at providing a solution to a given problem before a business enterprise. It is a goal-oriented process and provides solutions to problems faced by a business unit.

Effective communication

After a particular decision has been taken by the marketing manager, it should be communicated to his sub-ordinates in time in a gracious language, so that the quick implementation of task takes place. Thus, implementation of decisions can be ensured only when these are timely, clearly and properly communicated.


For effective decision making, timing plays an important role. If the marketing manager takes decisions at right time and sets deadline for it to complete the task, then it be helpful in achieving the pre-determined goals of the business enterprise.

Pervasive process

Decision-making process is pervasive in nature. It means managers working at all levels have to take decisions on matters within their jurisdiction.

Psychological Factors

The decisions must be taken after a careful consideration of the psychological factors, situation and information. The habits, temperament, social environment, domestic life, personal likings and disliking of the marketing manager have impact on the decisions taken by them. Thus, experts and specialists must be consulted before making a particular decision, if necessary.


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