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Title: A grounded theory study of decision-making within informal work environments
Author: Abdellah, Ibrahim M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 5228
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis's objective was to discover a new understanding regarding decision-making inefficiencies within the researcher's informal work environment (UMR), and construct a framework for informed action. Using the broad research question, 'What data-emergent theory can help explain the impediments to effective decision-making within UMR's informal work environment?' the researcher started by conducting a foundational literature review that brought to the forefront the complexities of an informal work environment and the lack of relevant decision-making frameworks. An informal work environment was found to be characterized by Communities of Practice, emergent social groups, and self-interest, which were often incompatible with rational decisionmaking frameworks. Using core grounded theory concepts, a methodological framework of data collection and analysis was developed that focused on data centrality and discovering a data-emergent theory grounded within the research field. A core category of selective perception emerged that explained and captured the core phenomenon of sustained barriers to decision-making and selective bias towards information due to the interpretative nature of the socially constructed environment. At the core of the discovered theory is that individuals have a tendency to reject decisions within an informal environment based on external variables not directly related to the decisions. Theoretical conceptualizations put forth the variables of communication, trust, and resources, each which influenced and was influenced by selective perception. By constructing a theoretical model explained through 9 propositions, this thesis shows that decision-making efficiency is impacted by selective perception, communication effectiveness, the level of trust, and available resources, with a strong interrelation between each variable. By integrating the emergent theory and literature, short-term action strategies as well as long-term action and recommendations based on the notions of adaptability and proactivity were formulated. The concept of adaptability was applied and tested for relevance and effectiveness within the research field, with positive results. This was further extended through longterm recommendations, which focused on core areas of the emergent propositions, and emphasized proactivity through self-initiated and continuous changing. This thesis concludes with a discussion on the implications for practice, research, and suggestions for future research.
Supervisor: Meiszner, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral