The Decision-Making Style Inventory is an assessment for management development training. It identifies one’s preference for one of four decision-making styles and then helps individuals learn how to use their style to communicate most effectively with others.

Recent research into decision making suggests that the most effective leaders are those who are able to adapt their decision-making style over time as their roles and responsibilities change.

The Decision-Making Style Inventory is a proven, easy-to-understand way to assess decision-making style. It identifies a personal preference for one of four styles: Systematic-Internal, Systematic-External, Spontaneous-Internal, or Spontaneous-External. What makes The Decision-Making Style Inventory different is that it doesn't measure who is smart or dumb, right or wrong. Rather, it’s about how individuals differ in the way they gather information, organize, and then process it.

The assessment is a powerful tool that has many applications, including leadership training, coaching, and performance appraisals.

Learning Outcomes

  •       Define the four primary decision-making styles
  •       Identify one's preferred style of decision making
  •       Understand the strengths and liabilities of each style
  •       Learn how to develop the ability to flex one's decision-making style 

Theory and Development

Detailed research shows that success or failure with executive managers is in large part a function of their ability to change their decision-making styles as they progress in their careers. The Decision-Making Style Inventory provides individuals with an understanding of four unique and empirically validated decision-making styles that emerged from hundreds of interviews with people facing career choice decisions. The styles complement most traditional organization development styles such as the Campbell Leadership Descriptor and the Social Styles Profile.

The assessment approaches decision-making style on a two dimensional scale that includes two structural styles and two processing styles. Structural style refers to how a person seeks, organizes, and weighs information. A person’s structural style can be either Systematic or Spontaneous. Processing style refers to how people make sense of information. A person’s processing style can be either Internal or External.

Four very different decision-making styles result when the two dimensions are combined:

  •       Systematic-Internal
  •       Systematic-External
  •       Spontaneous-Internal
  •       Spontaneous-External

Uses for the Assessment

The Decision-Making Style Inventory can be used as a self-study tool, a standalone assessment, or as part of a larger training initiative.

How It Works

If you are planning to use The Decision-Making Style Inventory in a classroom training session, we recommend you allow approximately one hour for interpretation of scores, topic discussion, debriefing, and action planning. The Facilitator Guide includes everything you need to lead a successful training session, from comprehensive background information and activities, to reproducible handouts and a professional PowerPoint presentation. The Facilitator Guide also offers an easy-to-follow workshop outline that expands The Decision-Making Style Inventory into a 3-hour training programme.

Product Type

Assessment and Workbook