Decision-making at work: An explorative study of employees leading themselves through decision-making in a consultancy company.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to gain deeper understanding of employees’ decision-making processes within a consultancy firm. The study aims to provide knowledge of what impact a self-leading role with large decisional mandate has on decision-making. The importance of the study lies in the reach of deeper understanding of companies’ decisive behaviour. This, through the research question: “How do employees experience their decision-making in an autonomous role with high decisional mandate?”. Theory: Dual-System Theory and the concept of Self-leadership are used in this study to help fulfilling the purpose and answer the research question. Dual-system theory is used to analyse and discuss the respondents’ behaviour while decision-making. The concept of self-leadership is useful while analysing and discussing the respondents’ decisional behaviour and how they lead themselves through decisions in situations where they have high decisional mandate. Method: An explorative and qualitative case study have been conducted with 14 semi-structured interviews with the respondents having different roles within a Swedish consultancy company. Focus is put on employees’ experiences of their own decision-making in regard to decisional frames and self-leadership. The case company is chosen due to their flat organisational structure, the high level of autonomy, decisional mandate and self-leadership. Previous research of self-leadership and decisional frame, Dual-System Theory and the concept of self-leadership are chosen as an analytic perspective. Results: The consultancy practice affect decision-making in different ways. Autonomous roles with large decisional frames requires an open, flat, non-hierarchical culture where employees feel trusted by the formal leaders and feedback is close at hand. Self-leadership is a concept with different implications depending on the employees’ own perspective of it. Decision-making is affected by employees’ self-leadership which in turn is affected by bias and heuristics. Fast, intuitive and impulsive decision-making is commonly based on experience. Reflection is most common when unexperienced situations.