Disadvantage 1: Missed opportunities
The first danger of slow decision-making is that it may lead to missed opportunities. By the time the firm has considered the decision in a drawn-out manner, the opportunity may be no more. The market may be so saturated, with high barriers to entry, that it is no longer feasible to capitalize on the opportunity.
Disadvantage 2: Competitors may gain a first-mover advantage
Another issue associated with slow decision-making is that even if the opportunity has not passed, other companies may have built some first-mover advantage. Early entrants may for example have been able to build up some initial brand or customer base that now makes it harder for later companies to be able to enter. Thus, even if the opportunity is still possible, it may be more difficult to achieve than if the company had entered at an earlier point.
Disadvantage 3: Large amount of time spent on decision making
Slow decision-making is also often associated with large amounts of time spent on the decision-making process. Protracted meetings, with constant stalling for further information, can both result in significant time being wasted. The same information may be reassessed or discussed, with meetings going round in circles.
Disadvantage 4: Employee frustrations
Slow decision-making is also often associated with employee frustrations. Spending time revisiting the same information, with little progress getting made towards the solution can be a painful process. Employees may also resent the missed opportunities, caused not because the firm did not spot the opportunity, but rather missed it through protracted decision making and other delays.
Disadvantage 5: Employees don't bother to raise suggestions
A final disadvantage of slow decision-making is that employees may start not bothering raising suggestions. If becomes more trouble than it is worth trying and get new ideas passed through the firm, then employees may start to learn not to bother making suggestions for how to improve the company.