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Decisions

The Complexities of Individual and Organizational Decision-Making

Karin Brunsson and Nils Brunsson

Decisions and the complexity of decision-making are central topics in several social science disciplines, including those of social psychology, political science and the study of organizations. This book draws on insights from all of these disciplines and provides a concise overview of some of the most intriguing and salient observations and arguments in the research about decision-making. The book first deals with basic decision making logics and applies them to both individual and organizational decision making. The book then deals with consequences of decisions and the complications of making decisions in a political context, where many individuals and organizations are involved.
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Chapter 2: Individuals as decision makers

The Complexities of Individual and Organizational Decision-Making

Karin Brunsson and Nils Brunsson

Extract

People who see themselves as individuals do not usually see themselves as victims of circumstance. Instead, they look upon themselves as decision makers with the right and responsibility to have goals and to choose among available options. In practice, decision-making is often cumbersome. People simplify. They base their decisions of information that happens to be available, on false information, on emotions or impulses. They imitate others, or try to find out what they want by various types of experiments. Some are content to avoid decision-making altogether. Some make obvious mistakes, or are easily manipulated into making decisions that somebody else wants them to make. In hindsight, as they see the consequences of their decisions, many regret the choices they made. They wish they had decided differently – but tend to find excuses for why the situation turned out as it did.

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