What I liked about the book
A part from being so informative, Judgment in Managerial Decision Making by Max. H. Bazerman, is a very interesting book. This is why many people, besides recommending it to others, regard it as a must read. However, when I was reading it, I was captivated by the following concepts:
First, it was so interesting to learn that many people fail to make well thought decisions due to their personality. As Max argues, they fail in realizing their aims due to bias. Their attitudes heavily influence their stand on various problems that need to be resolved. Moreover, many people, in their right senses, voluntarily choose to make bias decisions that end up not bringing an amicable remedy to the issue at hand.
The organization of the book made me so interested in it. A part from having only 288 pages, I liked the way Max subdivided it into sections. Whereas each chapter was tackling a different concept, the sub division was again extended to into sections with the first half addressing the issue of heuristics and the rule of thumb in simplifying complex cases to reach a right decision. This was enriched by the use of many examples drawn from the real life situations. It made the message deeply sank into my head.
Another scenario that aroused my interest is when Max reported that decision making can not occur to someone without a proper planning. It is learnt by a person after a repeated period of practice. Thus, the more a person makes decision, the more he makes improvements. This is because, they may learn from their past mistakes then changes by making the most appropriate improvements. As he reports, this helps him to be well acquainted with all the strategies that may be applicable in each of the situations calling for addressing.
The last interesting concept I learnt is about the handling of the junior staff by the senior mangers. It was so perplexing to learn that the managers should not base their incentives on the success of their juniors. Instead, they should be rewarded for the type of decisions they make.
What I did not like about the book
Even if Judgment in Managerial Decision Making is a commendably must read text, i found it choose the best strategy that can be adopted in addressing all the problems. His discussions on individual, two-party and the multi-party decision making process was not so exhaustive. Since, no thorough research has been done on this area; it seems that Max was trying to impose his worldview on the readers.
At the same time, I was not interested on Max proposal on the application of rational research as time insensitive. It requires a lot of time to be fully implemented hence, making it so hard for the individuals, managers and organizations to adopt particularly when dealing with complex situations where an immediate solution is required.
I would like to commend Max H. Bazerman for investing in this invaluable text. In deed, the book is very important because, the lessons contained, can be an important milestone in the right direction towards making rational and well thought decisions. Based on this, I would like to say that it educates us on the following:
i) It is paramount to acknowledge that the decision making process begins from a careful judgment and rational though. This means that an individual should be cautious on evaluating the situation however complex it may be so as not to make a wrong conclusion. If this is done, the most workable right decision will be made.
ii) In order to make a right decision, a person should be logical and free from any bias. Because, it may negatively influence his emotions and attitudes towards the issues at hand. Hence, interfering with his sound thinking and eventually leading him to making a more rational and justified decision.
iii) I also learnt that the idea of decision making does not occur by chance. Neither does it come from single incident. Hence, an individual, in his pursuit to succeeding in this, needs to refer to his previous experiences. Thus, enabling him to learn from their past mistakes and making appropriate improvements. This will help them to overcome any challenge.
iv) Another lesson learnt from this book is that when transforming the personal decision making to solving corporate level, it is essential to carry out an extensive analysis of the situation before coming up with the most applicable strategy to adopt. This is due to the fact that the techniques applied vary depending on the complexity of the problem at hand.
v) Lastly, I learnt that he managers should be very keen on dealing with the employees. Even if they may be allowed to make decisions on their own, the manager should be so cautious in rewarding them. As Max suggests, instead of rewarding them for the results of their decisions, the reward should be pegged on the accuracy of their decisions.