De­biasing Decision­-making in Marketing Management

In contrast to the traditional model of homo economicus, humans are not rational value optimizers when making decisions. In this respect, managers who make decisions for their organizations are not much different from customers who are guided by presumed irrational motives when making purchases. People are biased or influenced in decision-making – consciously or unconsciously – and perceive information through a filter of per-sonal experiences and preferences. These decision biases can be major obstacles in any decision-making process.Therefore, in the project “De-biasing Management Decisions” we identify the most important decision biases for corporate decision-makers in the context of specific decision styles. Based on this, methods for companies to identify these biases will be developed and at the same time strategies will be shown for how biases in decision-making can be reduced in a targeted way.

To this end, high-ranking corporate decision-makers from the U.S. and Europe were interviewed by telephone about the biases they observe in colleagues and themselves, as well as their impact on everyday corporate life. In addition, extensive information on decision-making styles is collected.

The array of instruments that was developed allows decision-makers to determine their own risk potential due to decision-biases depending on their decision style. By measuring specific decision styles, it is possible to draw conclusions about which types of decision-makers are particularly at risk from which biases, which makes it possible to develop specific counterstrategies



Prof. Dr. Martin J. Eppler
University of St.Gallen (HSG)
MCM Institute