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Wharton on Making Decisions Hardcover – March 16, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471382477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471382478
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

one of the best business books of 2001 (getAbstract, 15 January 2002)

From the Inside Flap

Complex business situations require careful decisions, and every decision entails risk. For managers, who walk along the cliff's edge every day, it is crucial to ask the right questions and analyze situations carefully before making decisions that will have a lasting impact on their organizations and their careers. But what are the right questions? What is the impact of rapid change and increasing complexity? How can managers use new technologies to improve decisions?

In Wharton on Making Decisions, distinguished researchers and thinkers from America's premier business school reveal the latest methods in analyzing alternative options and making choices-drawn from several decades of research into the psychological, interactive, and temporal aspects of decision making. They offer important insights on how to improve the decision-making process in different settings to produce outstanding outcomes.

Wharton on Making Decisions explains the role of personal emotion and everyday reasoning in managerial decision making; discusses ways to combine computer models with personal intuition; and investigates new tools for making decisions in increasingly complex environments. The Wharton experts analyze the impact of strategic learning, personal reputation, and deception in negotiated decisions. They also explore the impact of decision making on society as a whole, examining unexpected responses to medical testing, the impact of values on decisions, the phenomenon of information cascades, and how to deal with low-probability, high-consequence events.

Each chapter describes how decisions are actually made, presents an ideal scenario, and provides practical suggestions on how to make smarter decisions. The objective is to enable business managers to strengthen their decision-making skills and apply the latest methods of analysis and reasoning to decisions facing them.

Supplemented with real-world examples such as the fall of Barings Bank and the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Wharton on Making Decisions is must reading for every manager who wants to make the right decision the first time, every time.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
It was edited by Stephen J. Hoch and Howard C. Kunreuther with Robert E. Gunther.
Robert Morris
A somewhat scientic explanation for why/how we make decisions but what I really wanted from the book was ideas on how we can make better decisions.
Robert Kirk
The book is designed to help top executives and managers use the latest methods of analysis and reasoning in decision making.
Rolf Dobelli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Kroese on April 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Both editors are Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, which is one of the highest-ranked business schools in the world. Stephen J. Hoch is Professor of Marketing, while Howard C. Kunreuther is Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy and Management. Robert E. Gunther serves as coordinating writer. The book is split up in 4 parts, with each part consisting 3-to-5 standalone chapters.
Chapter 1 - A Complex Web of Decisions serves as an introduction to the book, explaining that we make a wide range of decisions every day. It starts with a very strong point: "Most of us do not make great decisions, and few of us are aware of this fact." However, through the different chapters in this book the editors hope to improve our awareness of the intricacies of the decision-making process. "We examine how people should make decisions according to the models, how they actually behave, and how they can improve their decision making."
The set-up of the book is that we look at decision making from various levels, from an individual/detailed level to a very broad level. In Part I - Personal Decision Making, consisting of 3 chapters, the authors look at individual decision making. These decisions are often influenced by emotions, intuitions, and a focus on present versus future consequences. "How do these factors influence decision making? How can we use these personal assets and foibles to make better decisions?" Understanding these factors should allow us to improve our personal decision making.
The second part, Managerial Decision Making, consisting of 4 chapters, focuses on the managerial decision-making process.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Stephen J. Hoch and Howard C. Kunreuther present a series of articles about making decisions written by professors at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. The articles describe how decisions are made using an ideal scenario, and then offer practical suggestions on how to make better business decisions. The book is designed to help top executives and managers use the latest methods of analysis and reasoning in decision making. Some may find this approach overly academic - in that many of the research findings are based on social laboratory experiments, statistical analysis and modeling - but if you've been making decisions based on guts, glory and a coin toss, the latest scholarship does offer some stronger strategies. We [...] found several in this solid book that will be of great help to managers dealing with employees, executives formulating strategy and finance or compliance officers weighing corporate risks.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the volumes which comprise a series published by John Wiley & Sons. It was edited by Stephen J. Hoch and Howard C. Kunreuther with Robert E. Gunther. In the first chapter which serves as an introduction, Hoch and Kunreuther examine what they characterize as a "complex web of decisions." As they observe, "We need to make the decision making process conscious, to be aware that we are cutting corners and when we need more thorough analysis. Building this awareness of the process - especially given the new complexities of decision making in our modern age - is crucial to successful management....The goal of this book is to build this awareness of the intricacies of the decision-making process." Collectively, the 16 contributors explore decision making on four separate but related levels: as an individual, in our role as a manager, in the context of negotiations and other multiparty interactions, and at the broadest level, in terms of how societal decisions can be managed.

Appropriately, the material is organized within Four Parts:

"Personal Decision Making" (Chapters 2-4): Issues addressed include the challenges of personal decisions, the role the emotions play in managerial decisions - for good or ill, how humans make "surprisingly effective decisions" even when using short cuts, and the same approaches can lead to serious errors...and consequences.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Franzetta on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book contains a number of interesting papers on various aspects of decision making. Several of the articles have an annoying propensity to reference research studies that support a proposition or theory, but give no details whatsoever about the content or context of the research. There are, however, several articles that come at the rather large subject area from new and interesting directions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kirk VINE VOICE on December 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
A somewhat scientic explanation for why/how we make decisions but what I really wanted from the book was ideas on how we can make better decisions. I'm sure the average Joe who spends $25 on a book wants to improve this skill, not just know what kind of decisions are available. This is where I struggled on seeing a value in the book. The most valuable tip I got from the book was how to make decisions involving multiple parties. Convincing the other parties that you won't deceive them... easier said than done but it's a refreshing idea about negotiations. In summary, a decent book but with limited value.
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