In regards to your request that I examine the judgment issues involved in my self-evaluation, I have prepared this memorandum. As you may recall, during my self-evaluation I noted that in my position I had observed dramatic financial downturns for the company and believed these to be related to employee turnover and lack of personnel development. I further explained that the strategic management team and I had implemented a drastic program to overcome these short-comings through employee retention and training. The end result did not meet our expectations, but did show a dramatic improvement in these areas.
To comply with your requests, I am not in the process of examining these decision to determine why out retention program was not as successful as we would have liked and why the company sales did not respond as well as projected to our efforts. Two of the intervening factors which we had to address were the unpredictability of the market and bias. The problem is that we as the strategic management team has an inherent bias in our evaluation of the company’s problem. We assumed from the beginning that the problem lie with the employees and not with outside factors. As you well know, some companies make the exact opposite biased assumption and blame outside market factors for a company shortfall instead of looking internally. Clearly, we were able to address some of the internal issues, reducing turnover and promoting employee development, but we failed to recognize the factors that were beyond our control including a softening economy.
We further failed to examine the issue of uncertainty as a causal effect on the company’s business. In our bias, we assumed that the responsibility for the turnover rate was entirely the company’s fault and did not examine outside factors which might be influencing turnover. For example, if a large company in the region had great growth or had closed, it might have a ripple effect on our employee turnover as employees move on to other opportunities or move away when a spouse loses their local job. While we addressed the complaints we identified well, we did not take the time to examine other contributing problems and this lead to the adequate but not optimal performance of our reforms.
Bazerman, M. H. (2006). p. 4 Judgment in managerial decision making
(6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.