Decision Science Essay

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Queens University of Charlotte
McColl Graduate School of Business
BUSN 635 – Decision Science
Spring 2010
Final Examination
Janaina Silva


The Definition: Many times when faced with a hard decision to make or one that involves many different factors or consequences the executive tends to look for “an educated guess” or “take a calculated risk” but no real calculation is done nor any education is obtained to deal with uncertainty concerning the decision. The main goal of my Decision Science course is to equip executives or any decision maker with tools to deal with the decision making process. The course provides us with a systematic, coherent approach to help with problem solving.
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We have to think about the qualitative factors that are involved in our decision making too. In the decision making process, as we saw in a case called The Nancy M. Hohman, we saw that many times the numbers will not speak louder than our personal preferences. The Nancy M. Hohman was a less than one year old ship, worthy US$ 40 million, carrying 200,000 tons of crude oil and 28 crew members and had an engine malfunction 9 miles way off the coast of South Africa. However, Port Elizabeth (the nearest one) was too small for the ship and the next close one was 380 miles away.
The captain had the option of calling a tug boat, but there was a 15% chance that the tug boat would claim over the Ship. They could try to repair the ship but there was a 20% chance that it could not be repair and they could not wait to repair first and then call the tug boat because it would leave soon and would not be available (25% chance). The weather played a great part on this decision too, because if the weather went bad (20% chance) and they decided to repair and failed there was a chance that 50% of the crew would die. Even worse than that would be a storm (25% of chance) hit them and they lose steerage (25% chance), it would result in 100% of the crew dead. Even though the chances of the ship sinking were very small, because the Nancy Hohman had and 80% chance of making to the port by herself, with many other factors having to be considered, we started thinking about the price
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