The banking and finance department is critical for any company that wants to increase its revenue and meet its financial goals (Avkiran, 2018, p. 13). According to (Climent, 2018, p. 2152) the banking and finance department of any organization is tasked with the responsibility of raising funds, managing funds, and planning expenditures. Being in the banking and finance department of BT Financial Group, a subsidiary of Westpac, I believe my contribution to problem-solving has been quite instrumental in adding to my skills and knowledge. During my time at BT Financial Group, I interacted with a variety of people on different levels, and as a result, I gained practical skills that will help me in my future career.
I am currently working in a field that requires me to respond to data from government regulators. Typically, the data received is massive. We recently encountered a problem in which some of the data received was identical to previous data that we had previously dealt with. Furthermore, it has been difficult to retrieve previous documents, leaving us vulnerable to providing inaccurate results. After observing the problem of duplication and inaccessibility to past data in the department, I set out to devise a response strategy, leading a team that would go through the entire database of responses and catalogs them. Cataloging refers to the aspect of grouping together various data based on the similarity of characteristics (Dalla Palma et al., 2020). I cross-referenced the data with another system to ensure accuracy and ease of access. This reflective study is anchored on two major theories;
The Engel Kollat Blackwell Model of Consumer Behavior, and
Rational Decision-making model.
This reflective study will focus on the various factors that affected the response decision plan and the implications of the decision in the future.
I currently work in the field of banking and finance in BT financial group. Being in the banking and finance sector, we are responsible for handling quite voluminous information and responding to requests from the government regulators. In recent times, we are receiving similar requests for information that we have previously dealt with and responded to. An attempt to retrieve past copies and responses from the team responsible for looking after this data seems challenging. The difficulties in accessing past responses make us susceptible to providing potentially inaccurate information since it is based on individuals’ unique interpretations. Having identified the problem facing the department, I offered to head up a project that would go through the full database of responses and all raw data documents and catalog them. The data will be cross-referenced in another system to ensure accuracy and ensure gaps in knowledge are all filled with knowledge. The cross-referencing system also gives ease in identifying necessary changes and updates needed. Based on a current evaluation, the proposals are proving effective as the department is now in a much better position to respond to the government requests and also give correct and factual responses.
The Engel Kollat Blackwell (EKB) Model of Consumer Behavior
The EKB model is a consumer behavior model aimed at identifying a problem and finally coming up with policies in an attempt to correct the identified problem. According to (Ashman et al., 2015, p. 132), the EKB model is a comprehensive model that provides a comprehensive description of the decision-making problem while also reflecting the consumer behavior process when selecting a product or service (WISDOMJOBS.COM, 2009). The model is anchored on 4 major principles; Information processing, Central control unit, Decision Process, and Environmental influences (Tidwell, 2014, p. 221)
Based on the case study, it is clear that the decisions and response plan for establishing a more effective and reliable system adhered to the EKB consumer model theory. The EKB decision-making process follows the following steps;
This step includes any stimuli that may cause people to act in a certain way or lead to a specific behavior (Zhang et al., 2020). I was exposed to a problem in the case study where some of the data was identical to previously submitted data. Furthermore, I was exposed to a problem in which it was difficult to obtain previous responses from the team in charge of this data, making us vulnerable to providing inaccurate results.
Processing of information
The stimuli identified in the first stage are processed into meaningful information in this stage. Consumers’ exposure, perception, acceptance, and retention of information are all part of this process (Longart et al., 2016, p. 183). After identifying the issues, I processed the data, making more sense of the trends and determining that the previous issues had a significant impact on our work and accuracy. After noticing these trends, I set out to devise a long-term strategy to remedy the situation and improve the accuracy with which we responded to government regulators.
Decision- process stage.
This is the most fundamental stage of the EKB model. It is a process in which the decision-maker decides in response to a problem already identified. This process involves 5 key stages (O’Brien, 2015, p. 22);
Search for information,
In this particular circumstance, I offered to lead a team that would go through previous data and catalogs it. Furthermore, the team will cross-reference the findings with another system to ensure that any knowledge gaps are filled and that all knowledge on the system is accurate and correct.
Variables in the Decision Process
The EKB model incorporates several variables that influence decision-making. Individual characteristics include attitudes, motives, beliefs, values, and demographics (Chen et al., 2017). In the case example, various factors such as the motive and personal beliefs influenced my decision.
According to the EKB model, a variety of external factors, such as culture, influence decision-making.
2. Rational decision-making model
Rationality refers to making decisions that are consistent with logic (González Oñate et al., 2018, p. 89). Making decisions is one of the most important aspects of any department of an organization emanating from the decentralization of the decision-making process to the departmental levels (lecture notes 4.1). A more important aspect of decision-making is the making of rational decisions that adhere to logic when dealing with particular issues (Aksoy & Yetkin Ozbuk, 2017, p. 76). A rational decision-making model is a useful tool for making decisions, especially in response to various challenges encountered within the organization (Sobel & Kushnir, 2006, p. 413). According to Shenoy & Yu, (2011) rational decision-making model, individuals make decisions to maximize benefits while minimizing costs. The rational decision-making model also assumes that a consumer has complete information on which to make a decision. There are six major steps in the rational decision-making process (Atlassian, 2021);
Defining the concern
Identify your criteria for assessing possible solutions
Decide the importance of each criterion
Generate a list of alternative possibilities
Assess these alternatives
Find the best solution
In the above case example, I had perfect information on the real issue at hand and access to data and responses. This led to the choice of a rational decision that would enable our department to deal more effectively with identical data sent and also help to ensure that the responses we give are accurate and consistent.
Looking back on my decision to deal with the challenges in our department, I can’t help but notice how much of an impact it had on the organization. Previously, the department faced numerous challenges that jeopardized response accuracy. I can now confidently describe myself as a problem solver. This is based, in part, on an evaluation of the system, which has proven to be more effective and has resulted in the department recording more accurate data.
My experience at BT Financial Group, Westpac’s subsidiary, has given me valuable skills that will help shape my future career. In the future, I will be in a position to advance my skills and knowledge and thereby be part of solving problems within the business and finance field.
This reflective study has provided me with many skills that I believe will be useful in my future career prospects and aspirations. Through this reflective study, I realized that the decision-making process is quite extensive and necessitates the collaborative effort of various individual factors as well as external factors. Through this reflective study, I’ve also learned that the decision-making process is comprised of several steps, beginning with the identification of a problem and progressing to the actual decision, and, finally, the evaluation of the decision made (Lecture notes 1.1). Understanding the various decision-making processes will be extremely helpful in guiding my future decision-making process, as I will now have to ensure that I incorporate all of the decision-making processes when making future decisions.
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