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Normative target-based decision making


  • Ali E. Abbas

    (School of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA)

  • James E. Matheson

    (SmartOrg, Inc., 855 Oak Grove Avenue, Suite 202, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA)


This paper relates normative expected-utility decision making to target-based decision making, and introduces a new quantity, the aspiration equivalent. We show that using the aspiration equivalent as a target provides a new method for choosing between lotteries that is consistent with expected-utility maximization. Furthermore, we show that the aspiration-equivalent target provides a win-win situation for executive-manager delegation. This result furnishes a new link between normative decision analysis and target-based decision making. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali E. Abbas & James E. Matheson, 2005. "Normative target-based decision making," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(6), pages 373-385.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:26:y:2005:i:6:p:373-385
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1234

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    2. Robert Bordley & Marco LiCalzi, 2000. "Decision analysis using targets instead of utility functions," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 23(1), pages 53-74.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abbas, Ali E., 2007. "Moments of utility functions and their applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 180(1), pages 378-395, July.
    2. Chernonog, Tatyana & Avinadav, Tal, 2014. "Profit criteria involving risk in price setting of virtual products," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(1), pages 351-360.
    3. Shi, Chunming Victor & Zhao, Xuan & Xia, Yu, 2010. "The setting of profit targets for target oriented divisions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 206(1), pages 86-92, October.
    4. Ali E. Abbas & James E. Matheson & Robert F. Bordley, 2009. "Effective utility functions induced by organizational target-based incentives," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 235-251.
    5. Avinadav, Tal & Chernonog, Tatyana & Perlman, Yael, 2014. "Analysis of protection and pricing strategies for digital products under uncertain demand," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 54-64.

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