Problem Solving Process In Management

Another strategy would be to consider first the problem-solving process and then to integrate individual preferences or patterns within this process.This second strategy is the perspective of this paper.

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Consideration of Individual Differences Although there are a variety of ways to consider individual differences relative to problem solving and decision making, this paper will focus on personality type and temperament as measured by the MBTI.

Personality Type and Problem Solving Researchers have investigated the relationship of Jung's theory of individuals' preferences and their approach to problem solving and decision making (e.g., Lawrence, 1982, 1984; Mc Caulley, 1987; Myers & Mc Caulley, 1985). When solving problems, individuals preferring introversion will want to take time to think and clarify their ideas before they begin talking, while those preferring extraversion will want to talk through their ideas in order to clarify them.

Each phase of the process includes specific steps to be completed before moving to the next phase.

These steps will be discussed in greater detail later in this paper.

Problem Solving and Decision Making: Consideration of Individual Differences Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator William G. Abstract Improving individuals' and groups' abilities to solve problems and make decisions is recognized as an important issue in education, industry, and government.

Problem solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.That is, individuals and organizations must have a problem-solving process as well as specific techniques congruent with individual styles if they are to capitalize on these areas of current research.Mc Caulley (1987) attempted to do this by first focusing on individual differences in personality and then by presenting four steps for problem solving based on Jung's (1971) four mental processes (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling).This paper relates a model of the problem-solving process to Jung's theory of personality types (as measured by the MBTI) and identifies specific techniques to support individual differences.The recent transition to the information age has focused attention on the processes of problem solving and decision making and their improvement (e.g., Nickerson, Perkins, & Smith, 1985; Stice, 1987; Whimbey & Lochhead, 1982).There is concurrent and parallel research on personality and cognitive styles that describes individuals' preferred patterns for approaching problems and decisions and their utilization of specific skills required by these processes (e.g., encoding, storage, retrieval, etc.).Researchers have studied the relationship between personality characteristics and problem-solving strategies (e.g., Heppner, Neal, & Larson, 1984; Hopper & Kirschenbaum, 1985; Myers, 1980), with Jung's (1971) theory on psychological type serving as the basis for much of this work, especially as measured by the MBTI (Myers & Mc Caulley, 1985).They will also tend to select standard solutions that have worked in the past.Persons with intuition preferences, on the other hand, will more likely attend to the meaningfulness of the facts, the relationships among the facts, and the possibilities of future events that can be imagined from these facts.They will exhibit a tendency to develop new, original solutions rather than to use what has worked previously.Individuals with a thinking preference will tend to use logic and analysis during problem solving.

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