It almost goes without saying that the purpose of any management education must be to help managers reach the best possible decisions subject to the many constraints upon their actions. Such constraints encompass typically the time period within which the decision must be made, the nature of the available information, which is unlikely to be exactly what is needed, and the resources available for use, whether in the form of human or physical capital. In other words every decision has its own unique environment, and it is only through an accurate and thorough understanding of that environment that a manager can make the best possible choice from amongst those which are available. The environment of most decisions frequently lies within the bounds of the firm’s own activities, e.g. the capacity of existing machinery is a purely internal constraint affecting a decision, but decisions which affect the objectives of the firm as a whole can only take place within a much wider environment such as the U.K. economy, or even the world economy. Thus a decision concerning the construction of a new factory requires an analysis of demand conditions in whatever parts of the world happen to constitute the firm’s markets and also an analysis of factors likely to affect sources of supply of raw materials.
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