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Decision Making: Improving your Judgment (19CIE15878)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Steven Guest Dirección de Personas y Organización ENG



Previous Knowledge

None, but students will be expected to be open to new learning experiences

Workload distribution

18 hour seminar


Our ability to use science to help us find ration solutions to difficult decisions is often at odds with reality. Our decision making process is more often biased, resulting in suboptimal solutions and poor decision making especially during negotiation processes.

Consider the following:

- Imagine your business partner wants out and has asked you to buy her share in the business. How should you proceed? How much should you offer?

- Imagine you are faced with creating a commercial joint venture with one of two potential partners in order to enter a third market. Which should you favour and how much should each of the JV members get in the revenue sharing?

- Which career path should I take ?

- Which house should I live in?

When faced with a decision, we don't always weigh up the facts in an objective way in order to take a rational decision especially when our emotions run away with the moment. This course provides students with different frameworks to overcome biases, allowing them to make sounder judgments, better decisions and ultimately become a more effective manager.

The course draws on behavioral decision theory with hands-on decision exercises to enhance judgment skills.

We see key decision making in the light of bargaining or walking away, arriving at wise decisions that avoid the sorts of traps often laying in wait for us, like emotional or political ones.

By evaluating the benefits or costs of actions we can develop strategies to optimal decision making even when we don't trust the other side. Heated negotiations will always result in some losing their heads.

We also analyse the key biases that can creep into a decision making process, especially when dealing with groups or perhaps during a negotiation

Course Learning Objectives

The objective of this seminar is to equip leaders with the capacity to understand decision making in complex environments, especially the sorts of biases that can creep in when we make decision.
The course examines heuristics commonly used in decision making, and the outcome should be students that are more aware of decision pitfalls and how to combat them. The course also looks at decision-making in teams and
flawed processes bring about bad outcomes, and we also look at real decisions from history that proved to be poor ones or very savvy.

Assessment criteria

40% participation
60% deliverables (journal featuring learning experiences and an in class presentation)


Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, 1999 John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, Howard Raiffa Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA.

Judgement in Managerial Decision Making by Max Bazerman and Don Moore.

Negotiating Rationally by Max Bazerman.

Raiffa, H., Richardson, J. and Metcalfe, D. (2003). Negotiation Analysis: The Science and Art of Collaborative Decision. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA.

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Steven Guest Dirección de Personas y Organización