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Raising the bar: strategic multi-criteria decision analysis

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This paper discusses the use of multi-criteria decision analysis for supporting strategic decision making in organisations. It begins by exploring the notions of strategic decisions and the strategic decision-making process. We suggest that structuring strategic objectives, dealing with high levels of uncertainty about the future, as well as considering the interconnectedness of strategic options and their long-term consequences are key aspects of strategic decision making support. We then consider the discursive nature of the processes within which strategic decisions are created and negotiated. Our exploration of these concepts leads us to propose a number of adaptations to the standard multi-criteria decision analysis approach, if it were to provide effective strategic decision support, particularly in strategy workshops. We make suggestions on how to implement these proposals, and illustrate their potential with examples drawn from real-world interventions in which we have provided strategic decision support.

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