Decision making in chaos
Tyler, Isaac B.
Tyler, Ariel C.
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How do military special operations officers make quick decisions in complex, fast-moving combat environments where the quality and speed of a decision could mean the difference between life and death? This qualitative study of Army and Navy special operations officers explores the factors that contribute to each individual’s decision-making process. The findings reveal that chaos is a function of enemy sensebreaking efforts, and to overcome this, leaders must first internalize the gravity of their current circumstances, a process referred to as sense conversion. After this point they are able to begin the sensemaking process that allows them to make an informed decision. This study led to a model of rapid decision making that revealed both the individual process as well as external factors, such as cohesion, that played critical roles in their ability to make decisions in chaos.
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