Vroom-Yetton Decision Model Explained

The Vroom-Yetton decision model is a decision-making process based on situational leadership. According to this model, there are five decision-making styles guides group-based decision-making according to the situation at hand and the level of involvement of subordinates: Autocratic Type 1 (AI), Autocratic Type 2 (AII), Consultative Type 1 (CI), Consultative Type 2 (CII), Group-based Type 2 (GII).

Understanding the Vroom-Yetton decision model

The Vroom-Yetton decision model was created by Victor Vroom and Phillip Yetton. 

Vroom and Yetton argued that the participation of subordinates in decision making was one of the most persistent and controversial issues in business management

In response to this issue, the Vroom-Yetton decision model was created. The model defines circumstances in which subordinate participation in decision-making either benefits or hinders organizational effectiveness. 

Based on empirical evidence, the model advocates a set of guidelines governing the extent of subordinate involvement in decision-making. The model suggests that good decision making is based on context, requiring the leader to adapt their behavior based on the level of subordinate participation.

Assessing the organizational effectiveness of decision making

To get an idea of the potential effectiveness of a decision for the company, decision-makers should ask themselves the following:

  1. Is the nature of the solution critical? Does a solution need to be chosen based on technical, rational, or quality-based grounds?
  2. Is there sufficient information to make a good decision?
  3. Is the problem structured? Do alternative courses of action exist? Can these alternatives be evaluated accurately?
  4. Is subordinate acceptance integral to the implementation of the solution?
  5. Would a unilateral decision be supported by subordinates? 
  6. Are subordinates invested in the solution? That is, do their goals match the goals of the organization?
  7. In arriving at a solution, will there be conflict amongst subordinates?

Using simple yes or no answers, the decision-maker then works their way down a decision tree and lands on one of five decision-making styles (processes). 

The five decision making styles of the Vroom-Yetton model

Each of the five decision making styles guides group-based decision making according to the situation at hand and the level of involvement of subordinates.

The five styles are:

  1. Autocratic Type 1 (AI) – a completely autocratic process where the leader makes their own decision based on readily available information.
  2. Autocratic Type 2 (AII) – where the leader collects information from subordinates and then decides alone.
  3. Consultative Type 1 (CI) – here, the leader consults with group members individually to gather information and facilitate input. However, there is no stipulation that the input is used to make the final decision. Individual group members do not consult amongst themselves.
  4. Consultative Type 2 (CII) – in this case, individual group members can consult each other and share possible alternatives. Again, the leader is under no obligation to incorporate group solutions into the final decision.
  5. Group-based Type 2 (GII) – the leader looks to the group for consensus through brainstorming and the decision is made collectively. The leader must not try to force their own agenda.

Key takeaways:

  • The Vroom-Yetton decision model is a decision-making tool based on situational leadership.
  • The Vroom-Yetton decision model is based on empirical evidence suggesting that the extent of subordinate participation in decision making impacts organizational effectiveness.
  • To progress through the Vroom-Yetton decision model, decision-makers (leaders) must use a decision tree containing seven questions with yes or no answers. Depending on the answers given, they will eventually arrive at one of five decision-making styles.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"