Relationship Between Decision-making Style, Competitive Strategies and Organisational Performance among Construction Organisations

Oyewobi, LO
Windapo, A
Rotimi, JOB
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Journal Article
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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose The decision-making styles and strategies of organisations play significant roles in their competitive advantage and the achievement of superior performance. The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of decision-making styles on the strength of the relationship between competitive strategy and organisational performance among large construction organisations based in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach The study focuses on large construction organisations in South Africa using a questionnaire survey to elicit information. The sample consists of 72 large construction organisations, and the measures of decision-making styles, competitive strategies and organisational performance used for the instrument utilised to elicit information were derived from the literature. Descriptive, parametric and multiple regression analyses were used to determine the effect of decision-making styles and competitive strategies on the organisations’ performance.

Findings The results of the study show that organisations utilize all types of decision-making styles, but the most significantly adopted styles are analytical and directive. The study found that decision-making styles influence organisational performance through competitive strategies.

Research limitations/implications The research considered large construction organisations based in South Africa and operating in three provinces, where almost 75 per cent of all public projects are being implemented. The findings can be generalised to other large construction organisations functioning within the South African industry, because most of the organisations surveyed operate nationally. However, the findings may not be generalizable to the entire industry. Small and medium-sized organisations vary in terms of structure in relation to large organisations; hence, their decision-making styles may be different.

Practical implications The study makes explicit the need to consider the role of different decision-making styles being practiced within organisations and how their moderating effect influences organisational performance beyond rational processes. A better understanding of this will enable organisations to achieve the total commitment of their staff to achieve superior performance.

Originality/value The study contributes to the existing literature and body of knowledge on the strategic management of organisations. It underpins the assertion that decision-making styles and competitive strategies can influence organisational performance, and this is validated within the construction industry. Knowledge of the relationships between the variables measured in this paper will be beneficial to both owners and managers of construction organisations, because they provide the necessary information on how strategic decision-making styles influence the strategy adopted and, in turn, the organisational performance.

Decision-making; Organisational performance; Competitive strategy; Contingency approach; Decision-making style; Organisational issues
Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 14(4), 713-738.
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Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. Authors retain the right to place his/her pre-publication version of the work on a personal website or institutional repository for non commercial purposes. The definitive version was published in (see Citation). The original publication is available at (see Publisher’s Version).