Problem Solving, Decision Making and Creativity Research Paper


Enhancing one’s abilities to solve problems and make decisions has become imperative in all organizations. Problem solving involves resolving of a discrepancy between the existing situation and the desired goal. Obstacles that create discrepancies may be known or unknown. The problem may be completely new or the situation may not have a specific known solution.On the other hand, decision-making involves making a choice from possible alternatives in order to get the desired outcomes or goals. According to Huitt, “the steps in both problem solving and decision-making are quite similar and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably” (Huitt, 1992).Creativity involves a novel approach of defining and solving a given problem.

The Relationship

Edward notes that a “strong relationship exists between problem solving and decision-making” (Edwards, 2002). The aim of problem solving and decision-making is similar because they all attempt to make organizations to function effectively.They both use similar models to achieve the desired goal, but a wrong result could have severe consequences in either case. While decision-making normally has stages of making a choice, people have failed to realize that problem solving also involves making of choices. It is important not to limit a definition of a problem in order to generate several choices.Decision-making and problem solving have similar approaches of defining a given situation, same structures, methods of collecting and analyzing information, selection of possible options, and implementation (Edwards, 2002). Further similarity between decision-making and problem solving is that both concepts aim to improve the current situation and meet the set objectives.Both problem solving and decision-making processes require a clear identification of the situation. However, one must recognize that a clear situation may not exist. Such cases may exist in situations where the problem cuts across several areas or departments of an organization.Creativity is a component of problem solving and decision-making. However, several approaches fail to account for creativity in their models. Creativity relies on different strategies of thinking. One can observe creativity in stages that attempt to explore or define a situation. Creativity does not involve the entire decision-making and problem solving stages. Instead, decision-makers must ensure that the creative idea is a valid approach at the planning stage through conducting a logical analysis in order to prove it.Creativity is important for decision-making and problem solving processes. It helps in criticism of existing ideas, innovating, generating new ideas, gathering and evaluating information and facilitating changes.Decision-makers can use various strategies to generate creative ideas. People require knowledge in order to be creative. Creativity requires knowledge that originates from various disciplines and sources. Several courses can help one to be creative. In addition, there are different techniques, such as brainstorming and criticism, used in developing creative ideas.


Problem solving, decision-making, and creativity relate in several ways. Creativity helps in developing new and novel approaches to certain situations in order to facilitate problem solving and decision-making analytically. Decision-making and problem solving relate because of their roles, objectives, and structures.In fact, one can substitute the other one. Decision-making involves selecting the best alternative from several options while problem solving entails resolving an existing situation in order to achieve the desired outcome. Creative, decision-making and problem solving skills have become critical in organizations for management purposes. They ensure achievement of long-term goals and success of an organization. Managerial decisions require unique ideas and effective decision-making and problem solving strategies.


Edwards, W. (2002). Decision-Making and Problem Solving: An exploration of their relationships and how rational tools can help. Web.

Huitt, W. (1992). Problem solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Journal of Psychological Type, 24, 33-44.

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