Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


A test of the validity of the Vroom-Yetton model of decision making was conducted using four types of organizational leaders: nurses, university administrators, managers from business and industry, and fraternity and sorority presidents. The present study was designed to avoid some of the methodological deficiencies of previous attempts to validate the model. Specifically, the present research incorporated two important characteristics: the use of naturally occurring decisions that were currently being confronted by the leaders and the use of objective, independent measures of the decision method used and the effectiveness, quality, and acceptance of the decision. The forty-two leaders were each asked to report five decision-making situations they were currently facing and to evaluate each decision in terms of the seven problem attributes defined by the Vroom-Yetton model, the decision process used to make the decision, and the effectiveness, quality, and acceptance of the decision. From three to five subordinates for each leader also participated in the study by evaluating each of the decisions selected by his/her leader. The leaders and subordinates evaluated each decision twice, once immediately after the decision was made and again after a period of time had elapsed since the decision was made. The results of the analyses on the effectiveness, quality, and acceptance measures indicated only modest support for the Vroom-Yetton model. The results for two groups of leaders, the nurses and the managers, generally supported the model. For the nurses, decisions made by methods in accordance with the model were perceived to be both more effective and better accepted than were decisions made by methods that violated the rules underlying the model. Manager's decisions following the model were perceived to be both of higher quality and better accepted than were decisions that violated the model. However, the results for the two other groups of leaders, the university administrators and the fraternity and sorority presidents, showed no support for the validity of the model. These equivocal results suggest that there are limitations ot the generalizability of the Vroom-Yetton model.