Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Management, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Department of Management, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran.


Today, most manufacturing and service companies adopt a customer-oriented approach to take into account employee needs and expectations as a strategic principle for sustainability and success in a competitive market. Meanwhile, Sengeh argues that “many of the best ideas and strategies will not be realized due to the conflict between new ideas and managers’ subjective model, rather than the management weakness”. On the other hand, managers’ decisions based on self-developed rules  can suffer all kinds of  biases. As Bierzman explains: “managers’ mental heuristic rules lead to weak analysis of information, inappropriate weighting of the various data, and an investigation of few alternatives for decision-making, which can lead to systematic errors and common biases in the decision”. Addressing the existing gap between managers’ subjective perceptions of employees and employees’ self-perceptions, the present study aims to present a new systematic approach with a combination of Delphi, Kano and AHP methods in an attempt to explain managers’ mental paradigms in Abadan Oil Refinary Company as one of the elading ones in the Middle East. The statistical population of the study consists of 18 experienced managers (using snowball method) and 203 employees at Abadan’s Oil Refinery (using the Cochran formula). The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were also confirmed using Kendall’s Correlation Coefficient, Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient, and Gogus and Butcher’s Incompatibility Rate. First, needs were determined from the views of the experts using the Fuzzy Delphi method, and then, Kano’s non-linear model and Alpha-cut (α-Cut) method were used to classify 21 components as basic, performance, and excitement needs. In the end, the needs have been ranked using the Fuzzy AHP method. The results indicated that the proposed method was effectively successful in reducing biases, vagueness, and possible inconsistencies in managers' decisions and judgments. Overall, the method presented insights on the significance of future strategic decisions to achieve sustainable competitive advantages and to increase employee satisfaction while categorizing the needs optimally as confirmed and welcomed by decision-making experts.


Main Subjects

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