Article

When “Decision Outcomes” are not the Outcomes of Decisions

Bénédicte Vidaillet

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/9780199290468.003.0022

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 When “Decision Outcomes” are not the Outcomes of Decisions

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The concept of decision making is quite convenient for those who try to understand the origin of organizational outputs. Whether people seek to explain good performances or disasters, they should bear in mind that these outputs are the consequences of certain decisions or of the method of decision making. Quite logically, people consider some organizational outcomes to be decision outcomes, and they suppose that specific decisions produce those decision outcomes. However obvious these relations may seem, this article shows that so-called “decision outcomes” are not necessarily the outcomes of decisions. This demonstration requires: firstly, that the article identify the implicit assumptions that underlie the hypothesis that decisions determine decision outcomes; and, secondly, that the article confront these assumptions with the empirical reality of organizations' functioning.

Keywords: decision making; organizational outputs; decision outcomes; organizations' functioning; empirical reality; organizational behavior

Article.  7774 words. 

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

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