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What is the meaning of Satisficing?

Satisficing means making a decision to achieve a satisfactory or adequate result instead of achieving an optimal solution.

Whenever people need to take decisions, they go for the best one, but it is only sometimes necessary as there could be some other alternate decisions that they could make for better results. For example, if you are writing a blog, then, in that case, you should do extensive research on the topic and state the facts related to the topic in your blog, but you can add your knowledge and experiences in your blogs too, and that would be great.


Similarly, walking ten kilometres will be very good for your health, and it will have many health benefits, but at the same time, you can run 3 km instead of 10 km, which has many health benefits too.

Satisficing is sometimes much better than achieving an optimal solution by putting in a lot of effort, time, energy, and resources. In simple words, achieving the best optimal outcome is optional in many cases, and acceptable outcomes can also be beneficial in some cases.

For example, the customer only sometimes goes for the perfect or best product, but they often prefer a good enough product that fulfils their basic needs. That is called satisficing.

In 1956, Herbert Simon, an American scientist and Nobel- laureate, first coined the term "satisfice".

Applications of Satisficing

The satisficing theory can be applied in fields like artificial intelligence, sociology, economics, etc.

It says that when any consumer is offered a number of various products or choices, then he may not spend time or resources on finding the best optimum choice, but instead of that, in most cases, he will go for that one choice which is good enough and satisfies the requirements.

Similarly, when a consumer needs to solve a problem or to process that problem but to do so, he requires a tool. Then, in that case, he will not spend his time and money searching for the best tool, but instead of that, he will choose the readily available and simple tool/equipment without putting so much unnecessary effort.

Adoption of Satisficing Strategy by Organizations

Many organizations are directed by their board of directors to keep the revenue maximum by increasing the profits, and this is where satisficing strategy plays its role. This strategy is adopted so that the organization may maximize the profits, and it is done through collective efforts, which results in high demand for the organization's performance in sales, marketing, and other departments.

Organizations also use this strategy to shift the efforts of one department, where nominal efforts are required to another or where more efforts are needed to achieve an optimal solution.

For example, shifting labourers from one department to another could maximize the results of the department in which more labourers and efforts are needed.

One of the drawbacks of this strategy is that what constitutes a satisfactory result needs to be defined, and therefore it is difficult to differentiate between an optical outcome and a satisfactory result.

Satisficing Behaviour

When people choose the most acceptable option in place of the optimal one, it is called satisficing behaviour, which Herbert Simon coined in 1956.

Satisficing is a combination of two words: "satisfy" and "suffice".

According to this theory, Simon was of the view that people consider factors like time, control of the situation, and other factors while making a decision.

Example of Satisficing

Suppose an executive is a satisficer and in search of a tech developer to develop an app. He interviewed some candidates, and some could meet all the criteria. However, there could have been more candidates, or even one of them could clearly be the best. However, the executive decided to select the tech developer from only those few interviewed people because there was little time available for the executive to search more for the best tech developer.

Difference between Satisficing and Maximizing

Satisficing is a process of decision-making based on the information available, and according to this, people often do not go in deep search of the best or optimal solution. Instead of that, they go for that one choice, which is good enough and less time-consuming. In contrast, maximizing is also a decision-making process. However, in this case, maximizers (people) try to find the best optimal solution by doing exhaustive research and spending a lot of time and effort.

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