7.3 What is an effective decision?
To improve decision making it is first important to have a clear idea of how we should judge an effective decision. While in this course we have suggested that decisions often stray from formal rationality, this does not always mean those decisions are less effective. Sometimes it is smart to take mental shortcuts: drawing on hunches and intuition can allow us to tap our tacit knowledge and experience and can reduce the costs of decision making. It can be smart to ask what is ‘legitimate’ when making decisions. Individuals and organisations that breach social norms can find themselves subject to sanctions or shut out of access to resources and influence. Nonetheless, there are dangers for the unwary and while short cuts and the pursuit of legitimacy do not necessarily make for bad decisions, they are more likely to if you lack awareness of the influences and biases that affect you.