D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2015.
Integrating a formalized critical thinking model
193 pages. UMI #: 3672486
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
Despite increased challenges facing decision makers, there is limited research on integrating a formalized critical thinking model with decision-making processes to enhance decision effectiveness. The theoretical support for this study was based on James, Scriven, Paul, and Flood's work defining critical thinking. The research questions addressed (a) what specific elements of a critical thinking model are applicable to various executive decision-making processes, (b) how a formalized critical thinking model is effectively integrated in existing executive decision-making processes, and (c) how such a model is institutionalized. A groundedtheory design was used. Data collection involved interviews with senior executives from a military organization and two support contractors. The findings indicated that critical thinking is being used at different management levels, but often informally, which tends to limit effectiveness. Participants supported the proposed critical thinking model and recommended specific beliefs that should be included. They agreed that a formal model is needed for effective integration and encouraged using critical thinking at all management levels. In response, the researcher refined a six-step critical thinking model. The results of the study indicate that a critical thinking model may be a useful step in improving decision effectiveness and the process may be applicable at different management levels, including first-line supervision. A major recommendation resulting from the study is the need to develop a more universally accepted definition of the core beliefs of critical thinking to support the wider use of the concept across different types of organizations.