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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 3: Organizations as decision makers

The Complexities of Individual and Organizational Decision-Making

Karin Brunsson and Nils Brunsson

Extract

Organizations resemble individuals; they can talk and act and make decisions. In practice, organizational decision-making involves people: Certain individuals or groups of individuals have been appointed to make decisions of behalf of their organizations. In many situations, their decisions affect large numbers of people within and outside specific organizations. Because decisions relate to choice decision makers run the risk of being criticized. They avoid criticism by finding support with significant stakeholders before they make their decisions. Or else they make clear that there is no choice; rules or circumstances define the only feasible decision. When faced with conflicting goals, decision makers pay attention to one goal at a time. Or they give up the idea of optimizing and base their decisions on information that they find satisfying.

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