It is believed that one universal mark of a manager or an administrator is decision – making. The fundamental functions of management will not take place without decisions. Peretomode (1992) supports this idea who maintains that decision–making is a central responsibility of the educational administrator. One of the defining characteristics of leadership is decision–making. It is core to the job description. Managers and leaders are mainly employed and paid to make decision. Decision making is an essential leadership skill. Any person who can learn how to make timely, well – considered decisions can lead his/her team to well – deserved success. If, however, you make poor decisions, then you are likely to fail miserably as a leader. Administrators, managers or heads are constantly called upon to make decisions in order to solve problems. Decision making and problem solving are ongoing processes of evaluating situations or problems, considering alternatives, making choices, and following them up with the necessary actions. In educational administration, decisions have to be made about work direction, leadership style, the planning process, the pattern of communication, mode of supervision and the nature and content of public relation programmes. Again, decisions have to be made about work operation in terms of sources of funds, financial control procedure, rewards and punishment systems, professional development programme and assignment of responsibilities.
Finally, decisions have to be made about services in connection with equipment, facilities, and record keeping.
Campbell et al. (1970) have shown that these and other decisions can be classified under six administrative task areas, namely; school-community relations; curriculum, instruction, and appraisal; pupil personnel; staff personnel; school plant; then financial and business management. Furthermore, in performing his decision–making roles the headmaster may be seen as (a) an entrepreneur; (b) disturbance handler; (c) resource allocator; and (d) negotiator.
Webster’s dictionary defines decision making as “the act of determining in one’s own mind upon an opinion or course of action”. Thus, a decision may be defined as a course of action that is consciously chosen from among a set of alternatives to achieve the desired result. On the other hand, decision–making is the process of choosing from among alternative ways of achieving an objective of providing a solution to a problem.
Decision-making is the thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision-making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation. Thus, it could be said that the decision is simply what one intends to do or a choice between alternatives but decision – making is a process of making a choice between or among various alternatives considering the costs and benefits of these alternatives