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Home Management and Decision Making process

 Home Management and Decision Making process

All the members of the family are generally involved in the decision making process in Home Management. In solving various day to day problems in the home, families are constantly faced with situations requiring decisions and action. Various types of decisions are made in the family.

They may be:

(1) Individual decisions

(2) Group decisions

(3) Habitual decisions

(4) Central decisions

(5) Economic decisions

1. Individual Decisions:

This relates to personal problems and needs. Usually these decisions are pertaining to an individual and decisions are made by the person concerned, e.g. when a girl child has passed out from high school, she will think through different alternatives for her higher studies. She may go to the college or sit at home waiting for marriage or search for employment. She can choose the best alternative by her own. So in this case, this is her individual decision. Individual decisions are more quickly made than group decisions.

The decision making of an individual moves round the values, goals and standards. Selection of household equipment or furniture and furnishings are some of the areas where personal or individual decisions are common. Deciding on the methods of saving and investments, types of insurance are the decision taken solely by the male head of the family in most homes.

2. Group Decisions:

These decisions involves not only the different members of the family but sometimes extends to include relatives friends and community. Although some of the decisions in a family originate from individual but there are more decisions in the family which are concerned with the family as an organisation. Group decisions are made from the collective action of several individuals of varying values, goals and standards.

In this case more alternatives are to be suggested. Unproductive approaches are identified and eliminated, because the experience of many people acts as guiding points in the process of selecting the best alternative. The development of group decisions is a slower process. Sometimes conflicts may arise in different situations. Generally group decisions are taken in solving the problems of land and property divisions, decision of family finances, investments and community development programmes.

3. Habitual decisions:

This type of decisions is the lowest level of decisions. Many routine decisions become habits based on established patterns of behaviour. Here the decision and the course of action are combined to form a habit. So much thought and considerations are not involved in these decisions.

They relate to day-to-day activity of cooking, cleaning, washing, looking after children going to office etc. If the mother is busy, the other members of the family can finish her work. The choice is automatic because the criteria are well established and no fresh decisions are involved. Making of tea or coffee in the early morning is an example of habitual decision. In this decision there is no need for choice of alternatives. Once it becomes a habitual choice, the action becomes quick and spontaneous.

4. Central Decisions:

A central decision is a very crucial decision in one’s life, where he has to make careful deliberations and analysis before arriving at the final decision. There are other supporting decisions which would follow to complete the action of central decisions. For e.g. A wife’s employment after the retirement of the husband may be central decision for a family to get additional financial support. Building or purchasing of a house is also a central decision of the family. For each central decision many supporting decisions are to be made to complete the whole decisions.

5. Economic Decisions:

It is based on allocation and exchange process relating to the use of resources. As we have multiple goals with limited resources we are facing many problems for satisfying our unlimited wants. Most families are in a situation how to satisfy their wants with limited resources. Question may arise like which want to be satisfied first and which to be later on? For the proper allocation of resources the families are making many decisions daily.

A family has to utilize the limited resources effectively to achieve goals. Maximizing the output and minimizing the input of resources and getting maximum satisfaction can be possible by economic decisions of the family. Economic decisions are related to saving investment, expenditure and utilization of human and non-human resources.

6. Technical Decisions:

Decisions that fall into this category are goal oriented. These decisions involve weighing of the alternatives. This means choosing the course of action that are sure to meet the desired goal. In cases of health crisis in the families or emergencies one might use this type of decision making. Family decision making is likely to be more complicated than decision making by individuals, but decisions made by groups have the advantage of having been taken after much discussion and thought.

However many decisions made in a family affect all the members of the family. Often decisions taken by a single individual member affect not only that individual but also others in the family. In many families husband and wife may jointly take certain decisions after discussion. In some cases the opinions of children or other members of the family may be taken and may influence the final decision.

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