Problem-Solving in a Team (Workplace) Business Studies Grade 12 Study Notes

Problem-Solving in a Team (Workplace) Business Studies Grade 12 Study Notes. On this page, we look at the differences between problem-solving and decision-making, the steps involved in problem-solving, the benefits of creative thinking in the workplace, and various problem-solving techniques that can be employed to address challenges effectively. Understanding and mastering these skills can greatly enhance an individual’s or a team’s ability to navigate complex situations, make informed decisions, and drive positive change within an organization.

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Problem-Solving in a Team (workplace)Business Studies Grade 12

In today’s dynamic business environment, both problem-solving and decision-making skills are crucial for success. Problem-solving involves analyzing a situation, identifying strategies to bring about change, and selecting the most appropriate solution, while decision-making focuses on evaluating various alternatives and choosing the best one. Although these processes share some similarities, they have distinct differences and serve unique purposes.

Differences between Problem-Solving and Decision Making

Decision Making

  • Typically involves a single individual or a senior management member, making the process more authoritarian.
  • Focuses on evaluating various alternatives and selecting the best one based on specific criteria.

Problem-Solving

  • Can be performed by an individual or a group/team, allowing for more collaboration and diverse perspectives.
  • Involves generating and identifying alternative solutions, then critically evaluating their effectiveness.

Decision-making is an integral part of the problem-solving cycle, as decisions need to be made at each step of the process. Problem-solving involves analyzing a situation to identify strategies that bring about change.

Problem-Solving Steps:

  1. Identify the problem: Recognize that there is a problem and pinpoint its exact nature.
  2. Define the problem: Precisely describe the problem, its possible causes, and gather information to establish its root cause.
  3. Identify possible solutions: Generate a list of potential solutions and decide on the most probable cause.
  4. Evaluate alternative solutions: Critically analyze each solution by considering its advantages and disadvantages.
  5. Select the most appropriate alternative: Establish criteria for the best solution based on factors such as time, cost, and risk involved; then choose the one that best aligns with the business’s size and resources.
  6. Develop an action plan: Allocate resources, delegate tasks, and establish a timeline for implementation.
  7. Implement the suggested solution/action plan: Execute the planned actions and communicate delegated tasks and deadlines to employees.
  8. Monitor and evaluate the implemented solution: Assess if the problem has been partially or fully resolved, and continuously test the solution to identify and address any emerging issues.

Creative thinking in the workplace offers numerous benefits, such as generating unique ideas, providing a competitive advantage, solving complex problems, increasing productivity, and fostering positive attitudes among employees. It can also lead to new inventions, improving the overall standard of living.

Various problem-solving techniques can be employed, including:

  1. Delphi technique
  2. Force field analysis
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Mind mapping
  5. Nominal group technique
  6. SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse)
  7. Forced combination
  8. Empty chair technique

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