Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking
You Are a Decision Maker

Think of all the decisions, both large and small, that you make during the course of a regular day. Just as you must continually make decisions in your personal life, every stakeholder in an organization is also required to make decisions.

Reflect on your own experience, knowledge and understanding of decision making as it applies to the management discipline, then:

Summarize your history as a decision maker in the world of business and management.
Identify the process that you have used to make important decisions in the work environment.
Identify gaps or holes that you think exist when you review your process.

Required  Resources

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media player below.



  • Hastie, R. K., & Dawes, R. M. (2010).Rational choice in an uncertain world (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Sage Publications.
    • Chapter 1, “Thinking and Deciding”
    • Chapter 2, “What is Decision Making?”

      Chapter 1 presents decision making as a learned skill, rather than an inherent ability, and discusses the difference between rational and descriptive theories of decision making. Chapter 2 introduces a definition for the termdecision, gives an overview of the purpose and utility of decision trees, and begins to more fully explore the concept of a rational decision.


  • Foote, N., Weiss, L., Matson, E., & Wenger, E. (2002). Leveraging group knowledge for high-performance decision-making.Organizational Dynamics31(3), 280–295. doi:10.1016/S0090-2616(02)00114-6

    This article compares advances in technology that allow decision makers to utilize group knowledge beyond the boundaries of their own organizations or personal networks in order to make better decisions.

  • Drucker, P. F. (1967). The effective decision.Harvard Business Review45(1), 92-98.
    Persistent link to this record (Permalink):

    This article describes a six-step decision-making process that is particularly effective for high-risk decisions within organizations.

  • Etzioni, A. (1989). Humble decision making.Harvard Business Review67(4), 122.
    Persistent link to this record (Permalink):

    This article presents flaws in the rational and incremental decision-making methods and argues for the alternative of “humble” decision making as a process which takes into account both the breadth and depth of a problem.

  • Hayashi, A. M. (2001). When to trust your gut.Harvard Business Review79(2), 59-65.
    Persistent link to this record (Permalink):

    This article attempts to explore the basis of what we perceive to be “gut instinct” or spontaneous choices, arguing that intuition and emotion are valuable components of decision making.


Optional Resources


  • Goll, I., & Rasheed, A. A. (2005). The relationships between top management demographic characteristics, rational decision making, environmental munificence, and firm performance.Organization Studies26(7), 854–883. doi:10.1177/0170840605053538


  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011).Better decision making. Baltimore, MD: Author.

    Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.


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