Decision-making vs. decision making

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Jennifer:
Hi,
I'm confused about whether "decision making" should contain a hyphen or not, because I can't quite differentiate between the noun and the verb (I'd assume the noun would, and the verb would not).

Two example sentences:
It must be consistent with the previously discussed statements of mission, vision, and values that form the basis for all lower-level decision-making.
...most use some variation of a functional organizational structure to increase efficiency by standardizing practices, allowing people to specialize, and centralizing decision making.
Thanks for any light you can shed.
Jennifer
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UC:
Hi, I'm confused about whether "decision making" should contain a hyphen or not, because I can't quite differentiate between the noun and the verb (I'd assume the noun would, and the verb would not).

What verb are you talking about? There is no verb here! It's "decision making", no hyphen. ...
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Jennifer:
What verb are you talking about? There is no verb here! It's "decision making", no hyphen.

I guess I'm following the follow up (verb) vs. follow-up (noun) model. Is it not possible to use decision making as a verb in a sentence, or does the "ing" automatically render it a gerund?  ...
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UC:
What verb are you talking about? There is no verb here! It's "decision making", no hyphen.

I guess I'm following the follow up (verb) vs. follow-up (noun) model. Is it not possible to use decision making as a verb in a sentence, or does the "ing" automatically render it a gerund?

I don't follow you at all.
"You make decisions. The decision-making process involves thought, and making decisions is never easy. Decision making is a bit of an art. I've made my decision, and once it's made, it's final."  ...
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Stephen Calder:
I guess I'm following the follow up (verb) vs. follow-up ... sentence, or does the "ing" automatically render it a gerund?

I don't follow you at all. "You make decisions. The decision-making process involves thought, and making decisions is never easy. Decision making is a bit of an art. I've made my decision, and once it's made, it's final."

What he's trying to tell you, doling out the information in tiny nuggets that leave you struggling with more questions, is that:
1. Decision making, when it is used as it is here, functions as a nounand doesn't need a hyphen.
2. If you're using it as an adjective, that is, to describe some othernoun, it needs a hyphen: the decision-making process.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia  ...
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Eric Walker:
What he's trying to tell you, doling out the information in tiny nuggets that leave you struggling with more questions, ... you're using it as an adjective, that is, to describe some other noun, it needs a hyphen: the decision-making process.

To toss another nugget onto the pile: occasionally noun uses also need a hyphen. That need arises when the two words seen separately do not convey the same meaning as the compound, as in Wilson Follett's example:
. a dancing girl (a girl who happens to be dancing)

. a dancing-girl (a girl who can be hired to dance)

Another use is when an unhyphenated compounding leads to a confusing, wrong, or just silly result:
. nonoperative (many readers' eyes will seize on "nono")

. recreation vs. re-creation, or repose vs. re-pose  ...
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Don Phillipson:
I guess I'm following the follow up (verb) vs. follow-up (noun) model. Is it not possible to use decision making as a verb in a sentence, or does the "ing" automatically render it a gerund?

1. Many readers seem not to recognize this model.
2. We do not know why you prefer decision making tomaking decisions, deciding, and other simpler forms. If you are writing for a specialist readership, for whom decision making is a requisite term, the jargon probably includes a style rule when the hyphen should be printed. Your specimen sentences are excessively wordy,
considered as common English, but we concede some
professions may expect you to write this way.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)  ...
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BusyGuy:
I guess I'm following the follow up (verb) vs. follow-up ... sentence, or does the "ing" automatically render it a gerund?

I think it's wrong to omit the comma in your example.  ...
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