Judgement and Decision Making Text Abstracts

In: Business and Management

Submitted By SpaceSS
Words 2564
Pages 11
Reading 1.3
Jackall, R. (1988)
Chapter 4, ‘Looking Up and Looking Around’, in Moral Mazes, Oxford University Press, NY.
Abstract
In the early sections of “Looking Up and Looking Around” Jackall seeks to explain the reasons behind inadequate decision making processes and ability. The circumstances and environments that cultivate ‘decision-making paralysis’ and a lack of individual decision making ability are explained. Numerous examples and reasons are outlined to communicate a manager’s fear of failure, reluctance to make decisions and inability to make effective decisions when required at all hierarchical levels. If a decision must be made, particularly for an unexpected situation or problem, there is a tendency to look up, at superior’s intents and desires, and look around, at the general consensus of peers, before making any decisions.
Jackall also explains managerial short term focus, the corporate culture of self interest and the reasons for each. In particular, he explains the manager’s interest in their progression and preference for short term, self promoting, often political, decisions over rational decisions that benefit the organisation in the long term. These passages show that personal ambition prevents good, rational decisions being made. Jackall also shows how this extends to the blaming of others and changing jobs in order to avoid being accountable for the consequences of previous decisions or strategies that enabled individual corporate progression. In essence, if you ‘outrun your mistakes’ through promotion or transfer, you will succeed no matter the impact on the organisation or others. This is facilitated through a lack of accountability at all levels.
Without ever explicitly expressing it, the author is criticising these methods, this culture and the acceptance of it. He highlights the negative consequences of a focus on personal interest…...

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