Contingent Decision Making: The Vroom Yetton Model

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Below we discuss:

  • What is the Vroom Yetton Model?
  • How the Vroom Yetton Model is different than other decision making models
  • The five decision making styles of the Vroom Yetton Model
  • How to choose the appropriate style to your situation

What is the Vroom Yetton Model?

The Vroom Yetton model is a decision making model that recognizes the situation or environment may change how decisions get made.

How the Vroom Yetton Model is different than other decision making models

Other decision-making models can be very useful, however one needs to assess what assumptions those models are based on.  For example, often a decision making model assumes:

  • There is adequate information that is accurate and of reasonable quality.
  • There is some knowledge of cause & effect.
  • Alternatives can be rationally and objectively judged.
  • People will act rationally and free from organizational politics

The Vroom Yetton model challenges the decision maker to assess these things in the context of the situation she finds herself in.

Five Decision Making Styles of the Vroom Yetton Model

  1. Autocratic (A1) – The leader chooses using information available to her at the time
  2. Autocratic (A2) – The leader collects specific information from people and then decides.
  3. Consultative (C1) –The leader meets with people one on one to gather information and solicit input.  That input may or may not be reflected in the final decision.
  4. Consultative (C2) – The leader meets with the group to gather feedback and input, and then makes the decision.  That input may or may not be reflected in the final decision.
  5. Group (G) – The leader looks to the group for consensus, and the decision is made collectively.

How to Choose a Style of Decision Making Based on the Vroom Yetton Model

The Vroom Yetton model suggests seven key questions that guide a leader to choose the most appropriate decision making style to the situation.  Answer the questions below, and follow along on the accompanying flowchart to determine the best decision making style for your situation.

  1. Is the outcome critical?  Are there technical or rational grounds for selecting amongst options?  Is there a quality requirement?
  2. Do I have sufficient information to make a quality decision
  3. Is the problem structured?  Are the alternative courses of action and methods for their evaluation known?
  4. Is acceptance of the decision by subordinates critical to its implementation
  5. If I were to make the decision by myself, is it reasonably certain that it would be accepted by subordinates?
  6. Do subordinates share the organizational goals to be obtained in solving this problem?
  7. Is conflict among subordinates likely in obtaining the preferred solution?


3 Things to Remember about the Vroom Yetton Model

  1. Don’t make it complicated.  You should be able to run through the model in a few minutes to assist you in choosing your style.
  2. Realize some decisions should be autocratic.  Well-intentioned advisors tell you to always involve your people in decisions.  In reality, some decisions belong to the leader alone.
  3. Don’t over-rely on one style.  If you become over or under-participative in successive decisions, you will ultimately fail.  Each situation must be assessed according to the situation.

Watch the ’3-Minute Crash Course’ about the Vroom Yetton Model (CLICK THE ARROW TO START THE VIDEO):

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