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Decision Management: How to Assure Better Decisions in Your Company

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6674-4
256 pages
February 2003, Jossey-Bass
Decision Management: How to Assure Better Decisions in Your Company (0787966746) cover image


Why do the people in some companies continually dazzle us with their brilliant decisions while those in others make one blunder after another? Do they understand their businesses better? Are they just plain smarter? Or is it all a matter of luck? The answer, says J. Frank Yates, is none of the above. The real key, rarely recognized, is how the leaders manage the company's decision processes—the leaders' decision management practices. Drawing on his thirty years of research and experience as well as scholarship from psychology, economics, statistics, strategy, medicine, and other fields to explain the fundamental nature of business decision problems, Yates highlights the ten cardinal decision issues crucial to managing the decision-making process—and ultimately better company decisions. He covers problems ranging from recognizing whether a decision is actually called for to assuring that a preferred course of action will be implemented. He shows how solid decisions result when managers ensure that deciders resolve every cardinal issue effectively for every decision problem facing the company. He also reveals how, conversely, chronically poor decisions are traceable to managers allowing—or even creating—conditions that encourage deciders to fall short in how they address at least one of those critical issues.
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Table of Contents

Series Foreword.


1. The Art of Decision Management.

2. "What Is a Decision?" and Other Fundamentals.

3. Deciding to Decide: The Need Issue.

4. Determining the Means for Deciding: The Mode and Investment Issues.

5. Prospecting for Solutions: The Options Issue.

6. Anticipating Outcomes: The Possibilities and Judgment Issues.

7. Accounting for Taste: The Value and Tradeoffs Issues.

8. Ensuring Smooth Sailing: The Acceptability and Implementation Issues.

9. Starting and Sustaining Decision Management Improvement Efforts.


The Author.

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Author Information

J. Frank Yates is professor of business administration and marketing at the University of Michigan Business School. An award-winning teacher, for over two decades he has taught decision making at UMBS and as a visiting professor abroad, including at Peking University, Leiden University, and the University of Tokyo. Yates is the associate editor of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making and a past president of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. He writes extensively on decision topics and has been on the editorial boards of numerous journals that publish key developments in decision research, including Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Applied Psychology, and Medical Decision Making.
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"Intuition is overrated. Research has shown how and why our intuitions can fail us when we make important decisions. Frank Yates, one of the most distinguished researchers on this subject, will show you how to assess and improve your decisions."
— Chip Heath, Stanford University Graduate School of Business

"This path-breaking book will inspire and energize business decision makers and business students to improve decision making in their own organizations."
— L. Robin Keller, professor, University of California, Irvine, and past president, Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS

"Yates knows the decision behavior research as thoroughly as anyone. In this book he draws on it imaginatively to offer practical strategies for improving real managerial decisions."
— Terry Connolly, head, Department of Management and Policy, University of Arizona, and past president, Society for Judgment and Decision Making

"Sure, anyone can make business decisions. But readers of this book will learn a simple and powerful strategy— as described by one of the leading experts in the field of behavioral decision making— for making the right business decisions."
— Jonathan J. Koehler, University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, Behavioral Decision Making Faculty, Management Science and Information Systems Department, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

"Should be read by anyone who wants to make better decisions, and should be required reading at any business school that takes seriously the task of enhancing students' and future leaders' capacities to exercise sound judgment when making crucial choices."
— Glen Whyte, professor of organizational behavior, associate dean, curriculum, and Conway Chair in Business Ethics, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

"Should government run like a business? Not always, of course, but this book offers many keen insights and much valuable advice for decision makers in the public sector, too."
— John Rohrbaugh, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York

"What sets Decision Management above all other how-to-make-better-decisions books is its firm grounding in scientific behavioral research and its clear, practical procedural advice."
— Reid Hastie, Professor of Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago

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