Forcing choice may hamper decision-making
- BJP tears into UPA govt on 4th anniversary, says it lacks leadership
- Madras High Court issues notice to BCCI, Sports Minister over IPL spot-fixing
- Jessica Lal murder: Actor Shayan Munshi, ballistic expert Manocha to face perjury trial
- India seeks access from US to 26/11 terror convicts Headley, Rana
- Govt further cuts import tariff value of gold
Managers tend to pick higher-risk options when forced to choose between competing alternatives to complex situations, according to a new Canadian study.
But when they're not forced to choose, managers tend to reflect more and solve problems with fewer negative consequences, the study conducted by researchers from the University of Guelph and University of Waterloo revealed.
"One of the most powerful tools to combat high-risk or unethical decision-making may simply be offering managers the option not to choose," said Theodore Noseworthy, a professor in Guelph's Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies.
He conducted the study with colleague Prof. Scott Colwell and lead author Prof. Michael O. Wood of Waterloo's School of Environment, Enterprise and Development.
The research also underscores how psychological mechanisms can affect judgment and problem-solving, he added.
The researchers explored what influences decision-making and problem-solving in two separate studies.
In the first study, which involved 80 experienced managers, business leaders were more likely to take risks that could lead to unethical consequences when they felt psychologically distanced from the stakeholders. That meant their decision would take effect in the distant future or would affect a different social group.
Many managers were unaware of those potential outcomes. "Increased psychological distance can lead to managers overlooking the ethical consequences of an outcome," Noseworthy said.
A second study of 192 different managers also asked people to make decisions under "high" and "low" psychological distance. But participants were either forced to choose between competing solutions or given the option to reject both alternatives.
Once again, the majority opted for the higher-risk choice when they were more psychologically removed from the situation. However, when given the option not to choose, managers didn't exercise this option. Instead, they spent more time reflecting and opted for the less risky solution.
"Where this gets interesting is why this happens. Managers were more likely to see the potential ethical consequences of their actions when they are given the option not to choose," Noseworthy said.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow