Management Decision Making:

Spreadsheet modeling, analysis, and applications


George E. Monahan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

August, 2000  ISBN 0 512 78118 2

Main Menu Overview

Table of Contents

Auxiliary Applications

Supplemental Material for Instructors

CD-ROM Errata

Book Errata

Solution Manual Errata

Contact the Author

Order an Examination Copy

About the Author

Overview Management Decision Making is a spreadsheet-based introduction to the tools and techniques of modern managerial decision making.  The author shows how to formulate models in Microsoft Excel that can be used to analyze complex problems taken from all of the functional areas of management, including finance, marketing, operations, and human resources.  Throughout the book, the goal is to understand how business decisions are reached, what tradeoffs are made, and how outcomes depend on the underlying data.

A broad range of analytical methods is discussed, including linear programming (with an emphasis on post-optimality analysis), integer linear programming, decision analysis, decision trees, queues (including the optimization of queues), and Monte Carlo simulation.  Included is a CD-ROM that contains Excel files for all examples in the book plus the widely-used decision tree software TreePlan and simulation software Crystal Ball.

The book is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students in business administration, economics, and engineering, including those taking MBA courses.  It will also be of great interest to business managers who want to learn more about practical spreadsheet modeling.

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Table of Contents
1 The science of managerial decision making
Part I Decision making using deterministic models
2 Introduction to linear programming models
3 Developing model formulation skills
4 More advanced linear decision problems
5 Output analysis I:  small changes
5 Supplement Duality:  the story behind shadow prices
6 Output analysis II:  large changes
7 Integer linear progams
Part II Decision making under uncertainty
8 Introduction to probability models
9 Decision making under uncertainty
10 Decision trees
11 Management of congested service systems
12 Monte Carlo simulation
Appendix An Excel Primer

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Auxiliary Applications The html files that are referenced in Table 0.1 in the Preface to the book are in the self-extracting zip file whose link follows these instructions.  To install these html files on your computer, do the following:

1.  Create a folder on your hard drive labeled "c:\Applications" (or some other suitable drive and name).

2.  Click on the link that follows and choose "Run this program in its current form."  

3.  Click on "Yes" when asked if you wish to run the executable program that is listed.

4.  When prompted for the name of the file to which the files should be stored, browse to "\Applications" (or whatever folder was created in Step 1).  Then click on "unzip".  The html files will be unpacked into the folder that is specified.

5.  To view the applications discussed in the Preface, double-click on the file \Applications\readings.html. (Alternatively, launch your web browser and open the file \Applications\readings.html.)

The link to the self-extracting zip file is:


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CD-ROM Errata CD-ROM Files


The names of the files TLPPoint.class and TLP.class are interchanged.  Rename TLP.class to some temporary name, such as TLPx.class.  Then rename TLPPoint.class to TLP.class.  Finally, rename TLPx.class to TLPPoint.class.

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Book Errata The typographical errors that are known as of December 20, 2002 are in the Adobe pdf file whose link follows.  Use the (free) Adobe Reader to view/print this file: BookErrata.pdf

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Solution Manual Errata


The typographical errors that are known as of December 20, 2002 are in the Adobe pdf file whose link follows.  Use the (free) Adobe Reader to view/print this file: SolutionsErrata.pdf

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Contact the Author Your comments, suggestions, and criticisms on any aspect of Management Decision Making would be greatly appreciated.  Please contact the author via email at or via surface mail at G.E. Monahan, Department of Business Administration,  University of Illinois, 1206 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820.

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Examination Copy An examination copy of this book can be ordered from the Cambridge University Press web site.

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Supplemental Material The following supplemental material is available to instructors who adopt this book for classroom use:
  • Complete solutions to all end-of-chapter exercises.  The solution manual is in pdf format.  Instructions are provided that show how to use Adobe Acrobat to extract pages from the solution manual to create personalized solutions to problem sets that can be posted to the web.
  • Excel workbooks to all solutions to end-of-chapters exercises.
  • Lecture notes in two formats for all chapters in the book.  These notes are in pdf format.  One version is in the form of overhead slides that can be used with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat in the classroom.  The second version places two slides per page and can be made available to students for note-taking purposes.
  • Supplementary Excel workbooks for examples that are in the lecture notes but not in the book.

This material is only available to instructors who use the book in the classroom.  To receive directions for downloading the material from the web, please send a request via email to the author.

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About the Author

George E. Monahan (Ph.D., Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University) is Professor of Business Administration in the College of Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He has held previous faculty appointments at Washington University in St. Louis and at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He was also a Visiting Scholar at the London School of Economics. 

Professor Monahanís research deals with the analysis of strategic issues in manufacturing, operations, and marketing management.  Of particular interest are problems characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, examples of which include the development of capital acquisition strategies for batch manufacturing firms, the determination of optimal advertising and pricing strategies, and the efficacy of certain cost allocation policies.  He has also worked on applications of game theory in marketing and operations.  This research has been published in major scholarly journals such as Management Science, Operations Research, Naval Research Logistics, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Operations Management, Games and Economic Behavior, IIE Transactions, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Marketing Science. 

Professor Monahan has taught a variety of courses in operations and management science at all levels.  He was the recipient of an MBA Alumni Award for his contributions to the MBA program. 

Other interests:  reading (science, mathematics, technology, music, biography, mysteries), listening to classical music (an incomplete list of favorite composers in no special order:  Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Shostakovich, Beethoven, and Bach), playing fiddle music on the violin, and shooting pool (14-1 straight pool and 8 ball).

Professor Monahan's wife, Susan I. Cohen, is also a professor in the Department of Business Administration.  They have two children, Aili, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and David, an aspiring actor.

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G.E. Monahan, August 26, 2003