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Decision Making

De Facto

This type of decision occurs when the family fails to actively engage in a specific process, and the decision gets made by default. For example, when Todd and Ellen want to buy a new car, they discuss the decision. They find a car at a price they can afford, but they cannot absolutely agree to buy it. While they wait, trying to decide about the purchase, the car is sold, and they cannot find another that suits them at the right price. In another example, Roberto is trying to decide about taking a new job and moving his family to another state. He is unsure about whether this is a good idea, both personally and professionally. Further, he receives conflicting input from his family about the decision. If he lets the deadline pass for acting on the job offer, the decision is, in effect, made without the family actually stating that they have decided not to move. De facto decisions allow family members to escape responsibility for the repercussions of a decision since no one actively supports the course of action taken.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Theory & Types of FamiliesDecision Making - Family Decision-making Processes, Authority And Status, Rules, Values, Discussion And Consensus