Wisdom, Uncertainty, and Ambiguity in Management Decisions Based on Experiences and the Trustworthiness of Research Methods to Substantiate Them

Ronald Jean Degen

Abstract


Wisdom, uncertainty, and ambiguity will always exist in management decisions. One danger for firms lies in managers making decisions based on faulty theories acquired through personal experiences or learned from the experiences of others. Often, these decisions don’t generate the expected outcome and may even put the future of the firm at risk. Managers, to avoid this risk, are required to become wiser, more discerning, and more appropriately skeptical toward personal theories or theories learned from management gurus that propose simplistic formulas and quick-fix remedies. In this paper, the author discusses the risk of decisions based on personal theories or theories learned from others, the business research methods used to substantiate these theories, the philosophical assumptions of business research, the strength and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methods, the benefits of combining both methods, and the trustworthiness of research methods in general for substantiating the theories used by managers in their decision-making.

 


Keywords


Management Decisions; Business Research Methods; Risk of Faulty Management Theories; Wisdom in Management Decisions; Ambiguity in Management Decisions; Uncertainty in Management Decisions.

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