Stay Informed

Stay Informed is a series of hints, tips, guides and recommendations written by the Library Staff to help make using the library easier and more enjoyable.

Human Economy

Subject Focus: Decision Making

It's the best and the worst of times for decision makers. On one side, we now have access to more data that ever before to help us make these decisions. On the other, there is an emerging belief that all business decisions should be made through scientific analysis of this data. Yet, as argued in a recent article by Roger L. Martin; management is much more than a science.

Coupled with this scenario is the fact that as organisations become more complex; the number of decision makers continues to grow and the possibility of poor decision-making becomes more apparent. It is therefore useful to briefly discuss the factors to consider when faced with making any decision.

Cognitive biases are often attributed to how we tend to make decisions. However, we must also consider the 'noise' factor. Recent research carried out by world-renowned psychologist and author Daniel Kahneman explains that when asked to do a task, two people should in theory follow the same process and arrive at the same result. However, 'noise' factors such as the person's mood, the weather, hunger and tiredness all contribute to a persons decision-making when completing the task.

Furthermore, Kahneman breaks down our thinking into two types, 'system 1' and 'system 2'. System 1 focuses on thinking fast and making unconscious decisions while system 2 focuses on thinking slow and therefore making controlled, deliberate decisions. For more on the decision making process including a 4 step guide, have a read of this quick article.

To explore your decision making skills, check out this really useful eLearning video.

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