Decision-Making Processes for Effective Problem Solving to Potentiate Organisations Sustainability


The purposes of this article are to analyse the decision-making processes for practical problem solving, and to understand the ways employees make decisions, based on the knowledge they have from previous problems solutions. To achieve these objectives, the following research questions were used to frame this study: Do employees have access to knowledge and tools to help them in their decision process on how to solve a particular problem? What kind of decision-making strategies for problem-solving situations can be implemented to make the organisation sustainable? One large-sized multinational organisation in Portugal was selected for this case study research. Fifteen employees were interviewed to provide insight into the research questions. The research findings support the conclusion that depending on the complexity of the problem, the employee needs to decide if he has the knowledge and the tools to achieve a solution to solve the problem. The use and share of employees' knowledge to make the decisions is a significant factor to solve problems and strengthen performance.

Author Biography

Maria José Sousa, ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

Maria José Sousa (Ph.D. in Management) is a University Professor and a research fellow at ISCTE/Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. Her research interests currently are political and information science, entrepreneurship and innovation, and management issues. She is a best seller author in ICT and People Management and has co-authored over 70 articles and book chapters and published in several scientific journals (e.g. Journal of Business Research, Information Systems Frontiers, European Planning Studies, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Future Generation Computer Systems, and others), she has also organized and peer-reviewed international conferences, and is the guest-editor of three Special Issues. She has participated in several European projects of innovation transfer and is also External Expert of COST Association - European Cooperation in Science and Technology and President of the ISO/TC 260 – Human Resources Management, representing Portugal in the International Organization for Standardization.