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Perceptions of Decision Making and Their Effect on Participation in an International Context

2001-01-01
Aşcıgil, Semra Feriha
Margareth, Ryan
Taking up the suggestion that participation may exist as rhetoric rather than reality, in spite of structures and procedures in place to facilitate it, we consider how managers' perceptions of the decision-making process, and their own behaviour in pursuing their interests in decision arenas, may affect the likelihood that participation will be endemic in their organizations. Adopting a social process and micro-political perspective of decision making, four characteristics are focused on as having an impact on participation: perceived level of uncertainty and complexity facing decision makers; the role of information in the decision process; the political behaviour of individuals; and policy integration across structures. In an international environment, perceptions and behaviour can be expected to vary with culture, and the article addresses this issue by drawing on findings from a questionnaire study of decision making in which 31 Turkish and 41 UK senior and middle managers from a range of industrial sectors and organizations participated. It is concluded that, while the two groups displayed both similarities and differences, their attitudes and behaviour within their organizational contexts would provide a less than benign environment for participation, but for differing reasons.