The decision process at the centre of the turnaround of a financially distressed firm
The senior-level decision-making process of a large organization undergoing a turnaround in financial affairs was examined and the factors which were found to best describe its decision making were found to be the movement between phases, the way the members of the Committee involved themselves in the process, and the leadership activity of the chairman of the Committee. The phases of the process were described as five: presentation, identification, familiarization, formulation, alternative assessment, and choice. In each of these phases information was processed in distinct ways and each phase appeared to present a task to accomplish before the process moved on to other phases. Movement was found to cycle amongst phases as choices were made. Members of the Committee involved themselves in the process through various activities. Many of these activities concerned the way personal perspectives were presented and separated along with, or apart from, more objective information. The leadership of the process had considerable influence in shaping its direction. As the leader, and president of the company, instituted discipline, enforced accountability and directed the "pace and direction of the process, he shaped organizational values, and influenced the outcome of decisions. The most significant event in the life of the company was its turnaround from near bankruptcy to profitability. The decision process was seen to have considerable influence in bringing this about, as well as factors related to the content of decisions, and the context within which the organization was set.