Strategic decision-making process : a case study in MTRC

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Strategic decision-making process : a case study in MTRC


Author: Lau, Chi-ming Wilson
Title: Strategic decision-making process : a case study in MTRC
Year: 2000
Subject: Mass Transit Railway Corporation -- Management
Strategic planning -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: vii, 104, 52 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Making good strategic decision is of vital important at both the organization level and the individual level. There are many approaches to the formulation of strategies but such models could only have limited applicability and usefulness unless the managers are able to select and use models which suit for their own organization. For this reason, an exploratory study on the strategic decision-making process (SDMP) is conducted based on an in-depth case study of eight strategic decisions in the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC), namely, new railway extension, train modernization, benchmarking, succession planning, integrated management system, restructuring of OEDM group, outsourcing and Y2K decisions. The eight decisions are of different nature and represent six generic categories, namely, new business investment, capital equipment investment, reengineering, operation & maintenance, human resource and quality. Three hypotheses are proposed to establish a SDMP framework. Firstly, it analyzes the SDMP through which they are taken into seven dimensions : namely, rationality / comprehensiveness, financial reporting, rule formalization, hierarchical decentralization, lateral communication, politicization and problem-solving dissension. The results suggest that the SDMP in MTRC could be described in terms of these dimensions, with the exception of problem-solving dissension. The results also show that the SDMP in MTRC has a very high degree of rationality / comprehensiveness and financial reporting; and a low degree of politicization and problem-solving dissension. Secondly, these SDMP dimensions are related to the six decision-specific characteristics, namely, the perceived magnitude of impact, threat / crisis, decision uncertainty, frequency / familiarity, pressure and planned vs adhoc. Results support the view that SDMP are shaped by the decision-specific characteristics, except with some uncertainty on planned vs adhoc characteristic, as well as the type of decision. This finding enriches the traditional 'external control' vs 'strategic choice' debate in the area of strategic management. Finally, Hart (1992) integrated framework of five decision modes, namely, command, symbolic, rational, transactive and generative modes, is analyzed using the aforementioned seven dimensions of SDMP. The mapping exercise shows that the SDMP in MTRC exhibit a combination of symbolic mode, rational mode and transactive mode depending on the nature of decision under consideration.

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