Organizational Business Decision Making

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
BUSN 4410
Semester Length
15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course builds on, consolidates and integrates the knowledge and skills of earlier courses as they relate to the practice of organizational decision making. This course will examine the nature of decisions and the process of decision making in organizational contexts that are characterized by varying degrees of urgency, stability, conflict and complexity. As they are introduced to frameworks, approaches, models, processes, tools and techniques of decision making, students will learn how to formulate effective decision making practices. Decision making will be explored and practiced as collective, purposeful and intentional actions and processes. Integrated cases will be used to examine all areas of organizational decision making, such as organizational design, strategy, stakeholder (i.e., internal and external) engagement, human resource management and operations management.
Course Content

1. Introduction to the decision making environment: context, decision making biases, group and team considerations, organizational considerations (e.g., organizational design, motivation, HR, operations, strategy, etc.), and organizational environment considerations (e.g., competition, economy, diversity, stability in the environmental influences, etc.).

2. Introduction to macro and micro problem structuring methods for complexity, uncertainty and conflict (such as Evidenced Based Decision Making, Systems Thinking, Strategic Options Development & Analysis [SODA], Soft Systems Methodology [SSM], Strategic Choice Approach [SCA], Robustness Analysis, , etc…).

3. Integration of multi-disciplinary theories and concepts in strategic management, organizational culture, financial management, human resource management, industrial relations, marketing management, production and operations management.

4. Application of aforementioned concepts to organizational problems derived from cases, and/or real-world/industry.

Methods Of Instruction

Methods could include case studies, lectures, classroom discussion, seminars, reading assignments, guest lectures and videos.

Means of Assessment
Participation 0-10%
Written case study(ies), project(s) and/or assignment(s) 40-70%
Oral presentation(s) 0-20%
Test(s) and/or quizzes 0-20$
Final exam and/or capstone project
Total 100%


1. At least 50% of the total coursework must be individual work.
2. To pass the course, students must achieve a cumulative grade of 50% in all non-group assessments as well as 50% overall in the course. In other words, students must have achieved at least 50% on their cumulative individual assessments in order to be eligible to earn marks from group work.
3. No single assessment (e.g., case study, exam, quiz, project, etc.) can be worth more than 30%.
4. The final exam and capstone project are individual (i.e., non-group) assessments.
5. Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course a successful student will be able to:
1. articulate the nature and structure of decision making in organizations;
2. analyze the implications of and interactions between decision making processes and the organizations’ external environment, strategy, design, culture, structure, operations, and stakeholders;
3. select and utilize appropriate macro and micro analysis tools/frameworks to engage in decision making in varied and multi-faceted organizational contexts to facilitate collaborative group decision making
4. apply multi-disciplinary theories and concepts to organizational problems
5. demonstrate relevant communication skills for achieving solutions to various problems during class discussions and with other students and the instructor.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Custom Course Pack (to be developed by the department) and other textbooks as approved by the department.

Bolman, L.G., & Deal, T.E. Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership Paperback, latest edition.

Humphrey, J.A., M.R. Pearce, D.G., Burgoyne, et al. An Introduction to Business Decision Making, latest edition.

Pidd, M. Tools for Thinking: Modelling in Management Science, latest edition.

Rosenhead, J., & Mingers, J. Rational Analysis for a Problematic World Revisited: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty and Conflict, latest edition.

Russo, J.E., & Schoemaker, P.J.H. Winning Decisions: Getting It Right the First Time, latest edition.

Savory, A., & Butterfield, J. Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making, latest edition.



BUSN 3310, BUSN 3312, BUSN 3350 and 90 credits towards a degree.

NOTE: Because this course will be focused on synthesizing learning from other business, finance and management courses, it is recommended that students take this course as late in their management studies as possible. In addition to the pre-requisites, it is highly recommended to take the following courses prior to taking this course: BUSN 3314, all management concentration courses (e.g., project management, supply chain management, operations management, etc.), and BUSN 4275.


No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU BADM 3XX (3) 2003/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU BUSI 1210 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG BUSM 2XXX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ADMN 320 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2010/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU BBUS 4XXX (3) 2011/01/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU BUSI 111 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC COM 2XX (1.5) 2004/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

Start Date
End Date
- 08-Dec-2021
BUSN 4410 039 - This is a guided study course. Please contact Instructor for permission to register.