I need three responses of at least 150 words each for the below students discussions for this week. Also in the bold below are the questions the students at answering.
Give an example of a good decision that you made that resulted in a bad outcome. Also give an example of a bad decision that you made that had a good outcome. Why was each decision good or bad? Please specify the criteria you used in making these decision. (You need to specify one of the decision criteria or the utility criterion in the textbook and explained how you applied it to your specific example.) Why sometimes good decisions may lead to bad outcomes and vice versa?
A good decision that I have made would be going to college directly following high school instead of enlisting into the USMC. With a little push from my father, I decided to get a B.A. in History before looking at joining the military. So, the decision to go to college was good and the outcome that was bad, for me anyway, was the final cost. I made my decision to go to Penn State University, which is a private university, because that is where everyone I knew seem to be going. I did not think to really look at the final cost and repayment costs of all the student loans that I would have to have. In retrospect, I could have attended a community college for two years, and then finished up at a state school (public university) and walked away with about 1/5 the amount of debt. I was young and, like most young people, I was not thinking farther than maybe 6 months into the future.
The follow-on bad decision that I made was to enlist in the USMC following my graduation from college. Let me qualify that statement. Joining the USMC was one of my most proud decisions, however, because I had a college degree I should have waited for selection into the Officer Program instead of enlisting. I was part of the Officer Program while at Penn State and after 3 selection cycles, and no one being selected from my recruiting station, I lost my patience and decided to enlist. The favorable outcome of that bad decision is that it put me into my current job field. I ended up in an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) that was centered on System and Network Administration. I was successful that the technical aspect of my job and took those skills, earned industry certifications, and when my enlistment was up I entered the commercial workforce. That bad decision set me up in an rapidly growing industry with high earning potential.
There are to many variables to guarantee a good decision will have good results, or that a bad decision will have bad results. Anything could change the course of a decision and leave you in a different place from where you started. There is a level of uncertainty that exists from the point the decision was made and its final outcome.
I used to have weekly poker games with my friends and so, over time, I got to understand their strengths and weaknesses as poker players. It was during a game of no-limit Texas Hold’Em that I made a conscious error, based on my use of the utility criterion, to try to win all the money. Texas Hold’Em requires game theory, statistics, and utility criteria to win. Game theory in trying to bluff your opponents, statistics in your ability to guess if you’ll get the card you need, and utility criteria in allowing weaker players to sometimes win more money to eliminate stronger players.
My friend Patrick was a weak player with a hand I suspected could be strong. Normally I would have decided to fold, so as not to incur additional losses, like a sunk cost. But instead I used utility criterion to essentially subsidize him staying in the game so I didn’t have to face a harder opponent in Landon by myself. Patrick won that hand with a straight, while the four of a kind I was hoping for did not pan out. Had this been Landon, I would have had less of an interest in playing a weak probability to win the hand, but with Patrick I could play my lower probability hand longer for my personal utility.
In this way, I would have won for either reason, either Patrick stays in the game longer or I have a good hand and win the pot.
Since I have already spoken about a scenario that related to the assigned text, I’ll explain a situation I had that was a bad choice with a good outcome. I chose to get married and have a family as a priority of a life goal, not necessarily because of the person. I’m still paying for that decision but the good outcome I received from a bad decision is I now have my beautiful son.
Good Decision – Bad Outcome
In 2012 I was working as a grant funded, part time teacher. I loved my job and students but our hours had been continually reduced. By Spring of 2012 I was being paid for 28 hours a week but teaching 6 periods – meaning I was working many hours for “free”, as many teachers do. Towards the end of April I was informed that the school had not elected to renew the program for the following academic year. A friend who was aware of my situation, approached me about working with them at a physician staffing company. She arranged an interview with the owner and everything I heard sounded very promising. A growing company, full time hours with salary and benefits and the opportunity to attend credentialing courses as part of a professional development program. Following my interview, they offered me a position and gave me a week to provide my answer.
At that point, used a combination of the Criterion of Realism and a decision tree to lay out the basic facts of the options before me. My options were: 1 – stay at my current position, finish out the year and hope that there may be a new position available at one of the other participating high schools in the program, 2 – Accept the new position with the staffing company or 3- Remain at my current position through the end of the academic year, resign and attempt to find a new position.
1) 3 more months of earning $19 hr x 28 hours a week. Then a 2 month unpaid summer hiatus – $0 x 40hr/ week and potential of a position at $19 hr x 28 hrs.
2) Accept the new position with a salary that equals $14.42 per hour at 40 hours per week.
3) Complete the current academic year (3 more months of earning $19 hr x 28 hours a week), submit my resignation and look for a new job, earning $0 during that time.
As I looked at my options, option 2 appeared to be best. This would ensure I had a consistent salary and professional growth. At first this appeared to be a great option. However, what I did not know is that this company was a start up company ( had been told that they had a 15 year history) and that like many small start up companies were not financially stable. Roughly a year and a half into working for them, the company began bouncing checks, then decided to lay off 30% of the employees. I was one of the layoffs.
Bad Decision – Good Outcome
One of my poorer decisions actually happened during the time I was laid off. During this time I was struggling to find a position that was within my career field or at least paid similarly to my previous job. I decided to attend an open interview event held at the local hotel and decided , since I was there, I would apply to the hotel as well. The hotel ended up offering me a position. At that time, they were offering just barely above minimum wage and if I would agree to work evenings, a $2 /hour incentive to work nights. Due to having been laid off, I was frustrated, worried and mortified to not be working. I have worked since I was 15 and had never been let go up until this point. Instead of waiting for a better position, I accepted their offer and became a night auditor. My schedule exhausted me, especially when I decided to return to school for a Physical Therapy Assistant degree. Exhausted, financially struggling and accepting every shift offered, began to take its toll on me. Then one evening the bar tender stayed a little late and chatted with me. Unknown to me, her grandfather owned a company that provided contractors for the local Air Force Base. Our random work conversation led to an interview. An interview that I showed up for without even knowing the name of the company I was applying to! Yet that led to a job that turned into a government service job that has led to me pursuing my MBA. All because I settled for a low paying, physically draining job out of fear of financial distress.
Looking at these two decisions now, I can see how I utilized simplistic forms of the decision tools that chapter 3 explains. At the time I would have told you I was simply trying to make the best decision possible and never would recognized that process that went into deciding each step.
Render, B., Stair, R. M., Hanna, M. E., & Hale, T. S. (2015). Quantitative Analysis for Management(12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. pages: 69 – 70; 79-89