Bias and Judgment in Decision Making

I just finished reading Judgment in Managerial Decision Making by Max H. Bazerman, though I have the 2nd edition (published in 1990) and now he has moved on to the 8th edition (published in 2012).  From looking at the book table of contents, it’s obvious a number of the chapters have changed, but much of core of the book is the same. With that disclaimer, I wade into my review.

What is the book about

This book was written in more of a textbook format, appropriate for using in a classroom, particularly for MBAs. It’s not too abstract, but also not for the faint of heart. The book itself is designed to help managers and would be managers to improvement their judgment and decision making skills by limiting or mitigating their biases.  Bazerman does this by first attempting to convince the readers that they themselves have biases.  Then, he explorers a number of different contexts in which these biases impact managerial decision making.  Lastly, he writes about how to overcome the biases.

My opinion of the book

The writing is not too long and does a fair job of relying on research in this field.  My primarily reason for reading it was the last chapter, which defines various strategies for overcoming these biases. This I found less satisfying than I hoped, but better than most other books on judgment and decision making.  That being said, the latest edition includes more strategies… so maybe I need to get a copy of that one.

The take away

In all, I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars, with the caveat that the more recent edition may garner a higher score. It’s a worthy read for most managers to help them identify and fix potential biases they may be harboring.


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