Article

The Social Construction of Rationality in Organizational Decision Making

Laure Cabantous, Jean‐Pascal Gond and Michael Johnson‐Cramer

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/9780199290468.003.0021

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 The Social Construction of Rationality in Organizational Decision Making

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The first part of this article traces the rise and fall of rationality as a category in organizational decision-making research. The essential story here is one in which the ongoing work of rationalist decision analysts and the growing critique of organization theorists have developed largely in isolation from each other. This occurred not only because their basic premises differed so radically but also because of the sharp distinction drawn between normative and descriptive research on organizational decision making. The second part suggests reconstructing the missing bridge between (rationalist) decision analysis and (organizational) decision-making research and describes how managers enact decision making as a social practice informed by a rational approach to decisions. Finally, the conclusion discusses the implications of this alternative account for both future research and practice.

Keywords: social construction; rationality; organizational decision making; normative research; social practice; rational approach

Article.  7616 words. 

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

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