Doctoral Project Abstract
Gary W. Ewen
In order to compete successfully in today's highly competitive global marketplace, strategic leaders must be able to se to it that problems are better solved and decisions are more effectively made at all levels within their organizations. Such an effort requires men and women to understand the role that better decision making and problem solving plays within the context of the entire organization. The best approach requires an organization-wide balance between the art and science of strategic leadership. Such valuable problem solving and decision making skills can be learned.
This project provides the materials to teach such rational problem solving and decision-making skills in a thirteen week, master's level course. The overall purpose of this course is to provide students with an array of rational analytical tools to facilitate their handling of both routine and non-routine leadership functions. These tools are systematic techniques, or processes, designed to improve the student's ability to gather, organize, and evaluate information in the areas of problem solving, decision making and plan implementation. Within the context of the course, students learn to master the various tools and techniques for solving problems, making decisions, and ensuring the success of projects at both the operational and strategic levels of any organization. As such, the course is divided into two halves. The first six weeks of the course focus on improving the student's skills in applying the rational processes of situation appraisal, decision analysis, potential problem analysis, potential opportunity analysis, and problem analysis to operational issues. Weeks seven through thirteen focus on extending those rational process skills to the student's ability to the art and discipline of strategic leadership.