Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking
This paper explores the relation between decision theoretic conceptions of risk and the conceptions held by executives. It considers recent studies of risk attitudes and behavior among managers against the background of conceptions of risk derived from theories of choice. We conclude that managers take risks and exhibit risk preferences, but the processes that generate those observables are somewhat removed from the classical processes of choosing from among alternative actions in terms of the mean (expected value) and variance (risk) of the probability distributions over possible outcomes. We identify three major ways in which the conceptions of risk and risk taking held by these managers lead to orientations to risk that are different from what might be expected from a decision theory perspective: Managers are quite insensitive to estimates of the probabilities of possible outcomes; their decisions are particularly affected by the way their attention is focused on critical performance targets; and they make a sharp distinction between taking risks and gambling. These differences, along with closely related observations drawn from other studies of individual and organizational choice, indicate that the behavioral phenomenon of risk taking in organizational settings will be imperfectly understood within a classical conception of risk.
Volume (Year): 33 (1987)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:33:y:1987:i:11:p:1404-1418. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.