An Experimental Investigation of Decision Making in a Simulated Research and Development Environment
Information processing and choice behavior of research and development (R&D) managers and MBA students were investigated through play of a simple R&D decision game under conditions of technical uncertainty. The experimental design permitted a detailed micro-analysis of the players' behavior. The research data were collected in concert with the game's use as a training vehicle, which also permitted exploration of improved methods for effectively educating practitioners in these concepts and the assessment of the potential imposition of decision theory on managerial decision making. The rules deduced describing information processing and decision processes have important implications for training in decision theory. Significant differences in game behavior were found between R&D managers and students. The significant degree of irrational and suboptimal behavior exhibited, the R&D managers' willingness to accept the norms of decision theory as a basis of rational thought, and their general interest in the topic of decision making underscore the importance of educating managers in the concepts of decision theory.
Volume (Year): 19 (1973)
Issue (Month): 6 (February)
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