Theses and Dissertations


John Huggins

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Strawderman, Lesley

Committee Member

Smith, Brian

Committee Member

Bullington, Stanley F.

Committee Member

Burch, Reuben F., V

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


Organizational decision making can be seen as a complex process due to the fact that decisions across organizational levels are generally interdependent, and have effects ranging from immediate to long-lasting. Reviewing decision making mathematical and process models, decision making is fundamentally characterized by multiple decision making steps from encountering a problem to determining a course of action. The first objective of this dissertation was the determination of the decision making model that a certain type of organization uses, and the establishment of a foundation for an organizational decision model framework. Decision making can be classified into three decision types: strategic, tactical, and operational. These types of decisions can be made throughout the organization ranging from an executive board to operating floor managers. A second objective of this dissertation was the determination of the decision making model that is used to make a certain decision type, and the continued development of an organizational decision making model framework. Beyond decision making occurring within the “traditional” organization structure, decision making can be influenced and occurs within the organizational social groups. These social networks established within the parent organization can make similar decisions to ones made within the “traditional” organizational structure. Metrics of social network analysis (SNA) were used to characterize the configuration of social networks associated with different organizational structures and types of decisions being made in the organization. These metrics showed organizational social networks had the same composition regardless of organizational structure and decision type, with one outlier that social networks would comprise of organizational members making the same type of organizational decision. The first two studies developed an organizational decision making model, respectively. These two studies’ results showed none of the five researched decision making models being representative of how an organization makes decisions. Ultimately, these studies’ results allowed a new organizational decision making model to be constructed.