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Decisions made in law departments and a method to study their effectiveness

Social scientists could trace a series of decisions as they work their way through a law department. They could record each decision maker’s involvement – the nature and duration of their input and the result. The resulting process map would show whether many decisions involve too many people, demand too much attention from senior lawyers, or were revisited too many times. This vision comes from a wonderful article in MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev., Vol. 50, Winter 2009 at 35, which describes how to analyze networks of information and decision-making, and what to do to improve both functions ( See my post of Nov. 6, 2006: organizational network analysis.).

Findings from such an analysis should help clarify the roles that people in the law department play in these interactions (such as “decision-maker, input provider, advice provider, someone who ‘wanted to know’ or someone who simply felt ‘a need to know’”) (See my post of Nov. 23, 2008: a RACI chart of responsibilities *5; and Dec. 1, 2006 #1: RASCI.).

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