Z94.10 Management

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DATA. Unanalyzed facts and figures.

DATA BASE. A set of data organized efficiently in a central location so that it can serve a number of information system applications.

DATA BASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. The software that allows an organization to build, manage, and provide access to its stored data.

DEBT CAPITAL. A type of financing available to entrepreneurs that involves a loan to be repaid, usually with interest.

DEBT MANAGEMENT RATIOS. Financial ratios that assess the extent to which an organization uses debt to finance investments, as well as the degree to which it is able to meet its long-term obligations.

DECENTRALIZATION. A vertical coordination method that addresses the extent to which power and authority are delegated to lower levels.

DECIDING TO DECIDE. A response in which decision makers accept the challenge of deciding what to do about a problem and follow an effective decision-making process.

DECISION MAKING. The process through which manages identify organizational problems and attempt to resolve them.


DECISION SUPPORT-SYSTEM (DSS). A computer-based information system that supports the process of managerial decision making in situations that are well structured.

DECISION TREE. A quantitative decision-making aid based on a graphic model that displays the structure of a sequence of alternative courses of action and usually shows the pay-offs associated with various paths and the probabilities associated with potential future conditions.

DECODING. The process, in communication, of translating symbols into meaning.

DEFENSIVE AVOIDANCE. A condition preventing effective decision making in which individuals either deny the importance of a danger or an opportunity or deny any responsibility for taking action.

DEFENSIVE STRATEGIES. Strategies (sometimes called retrenchment strategies) that focus on the desire or need to reduce organizational operations usually through cost and/or asset reductions.

DELEGATION. A means of vertical coordination that involves the assignment of part of a manager’s work to others along with both the responsibility and the authority necessary to achieve expected results.

DELPHI METHOD. A method of technological or qualitative forecasting that uses a structured approach to gain the judgments of a number of experts on a specific issue relating to the future.

DEMOCRATIC. The behavioral style of leaders who tend to involve the group in decision making, let the group determine work methods, make overall goals known, and use feedback as an opportunity for helpful coaching.

DEPARTMENTALIZATION. An aspect of organization structure involving the clustering of individuals into units and of units into departments and larger units in order to facilitate achieving organizational goals. 

DEPENDENT DEMAND INVENTORY. A type of inventory consisting of raw materials, components, and subassemblies that are used in the production of an end product or service.

DESCRIPTIVE DECISION-MAKING MODELS. Models that attempt to document how managers actually do make decisions.

DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. A group of countries that are characterized by high levels of economic or industrial development and that include the United States, western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

DEVIL'S ADVOCATES. Individuals who are assigned the role of making sure that the negative aspects of any attractive decision alternatives are considered and whose involvement in a group helps avoid group-think.

DIALECTICAL INQUIRY. A technique used to help avoid group-think that involves approaching a decision situation from two opposite points of view.

DIFFERENTATION. The extent to which organizational units differ from one another in terms of the behaviors and orientations of their members and their formal structures; also used to refer to the tendency for open systems to become more complex.

DIFFERENTIATION PARADOX. The idea that although separating efforts to innovate from the rest of the organization increases the likelihood of developing radical ideas, such differentiation also decreases the likelihood that the radical ideas will ever be implemented.

DIFFERENTIATION STRATEGY. A generic business-level strategy outlined by Michael E. Porter that involves an attempt to develop products and services that are viewed as unique in the industry.

DIRECT CONTACT. A means of facilitating lateral relations that involves communication between two or more persons at similar levels in different work units for purposes of coordinating work and solving problems.

DIRECT INTERLOCK. A situation in which two companies have a director in common.

DIRECT INVESTMENT. A means of entering international markets involving the establishment of operating facilities in a foreign country.

DIRECTIVE. A leader behavior identified in path-goal theory that involves letting subordinates know what is expected of them, providing guidance about work methods, developing work schedules, identifying work evaluation standards, and indicating the basis for outcomes or rewards.

DISCRETIONARY EXPENSE CENTER. A responsibility center whose budgetary performance is based on achieving its goals by operating within predetermined expense constraints set through managerial judgment or discretion.

DISSATISFIES. A type of factor which figures in the two-factor theory of motivation that is largely associated with the work environment (such as working conditions and supervision) and that can influence the degree of worker dissatisfaction.

DISTINCTIVE COMPETENCE. An organizational strength that is unique and not easily matched or imitated by competitors.

DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING. An approach to controlling information system resources in which computers are distributed to various organizational locations where they serve the organization’s local and/or regional needs and are interconnected for electronic communication.

DIVERGENT THINKING. A way of thinking related to creativity in which an individual attempts to solve problems by generating new ways of viewing the problem and seeking novel alternatives.

DIVERSIFICATION. A growth strategy that entails effecting growth through the development of new areas that are clearly distinct from current businesses.

DIVESTITURE. A defensive strategy that involves an organization’s selling or divesting of a business or part of a business.

DIVISIONAL STRUCTURE. A type of departmentalization in which positions are grouped according to similarity of products, services, or markets.

DIVISIONALIZED FORM. The structural configuration in Mintzberg’s typology characterized by divisional departmentalization, a strong management group at the division level, high formalization within divisions, and an emphasis on standardized outputs.

DOMAIN SHIFTS. Changes in the mix of products and services offered so that an organization will interface with more favorable environmental elements.

DOWNSIZING. A method of increasing organizational efficiency and effectiveness that involves significantly reducing the layers of middle management, expanding spans of control, and shrinking the size of the work force.

DOWNWARD COMMUNICATION. Vertical communication that flows from a higher level to one or more lower levels in the organization.

DRIVING FORCES. Forces studied in force-field analysis that involve factors that pressure for a particular change.

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