Article

Superstitious Behavior as a Byproduct of Intelligent Adaptation

Jerker Denrell

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199290468
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199290468.003.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Superstitious Behavior as a Byproduct of Intelligent Adaptation

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This article reviews the literature on superstitious behavior in psychology. It then illustrates why limited experimentation is a necessary feature of an intelligent learning policy and why limited experimentation can explain why individuals and organizations perpetuate superstitious behavior. It subsequently discusses several sources of superstitious behavior in organizations. Finally, the article notes that an implication of the author's analysis is that innovations will emerge from managers who are inclined to, or forced by stakeholders, to make unreasonable decisions that ignore the costs of experimenting.

Keywords: superstitious behavior; psychology; learning policy; intelligent adaptation; experimentation; organizations

Article.  6530 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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