Managerial Decision Making (not offered)

STR451 Managerial Decision Making (not offered)

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The primary objective of this course is to survey the major theoretical perspectives and issues in managerial decision making. These perspectives are applied to the study of executives, the decision making process, and its context. The perspectives derive from disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and economics. In addition, the course offers the opportunity to develop a research proposal and advance a new theoretical perspective. Approaches rooted in qualitative and quantitative methods are welcome and interdisciplinary research is encouraged.

    The course provides the students with an overview of current decision models, illustrated through theoretical analyses and empirical studies. It also focuses on important methodological problems in studying managerial decision making. Methodologies that are used in research on managerial decision making are discussed, as well as how to design and conduct research into this area.


    • Heuristics and biases
    • Judgment under uncertainty
    • Bounded rationality
    • Decision making in management teams
    • Strategic decision making and conflict
    • Groupthink
    • Structured and unstructured decision processes
    • Strategic choices
    • Organizational decision making as a political process

  • Learning outcome

    Based on insights into current theories and relevant cases, the students will develop skills in understanding, monitoring, and managing situations requiring careful judgment at all levels of the corporate ladder. In any organization, this constitutes a critical human resource for the firm. Students will be trained in creating an awareness of the decision-making process and will be offered strategies for improving decision processes so that these become part of their permanent behavior. By making use of the theories, students will be able to make sustainable improvements to future decisions. Students will also learn about different research strategies and how to design and conduct research into the area. Moreover, they will be able to discuss conceptual and methodological problems related to research in managerial decision making.


    Knowledge-the candidate

    • Has advanced knowledge within the academic field and specialized insight in managerial decision making
    • Has thorough knowledge of the scholarly theories and methods in managerial decision making
    • Can apply knowledge to new areas within managerial decision making
    • Can analyze academic problems on the basis of the history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society of managerial decision making


    Skills-the candidate

    • Can analyze and deal critically with various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
    • Can analyze existing theories, methods, and interpretations in the field and work independently on practical and theoretical problems
    • Can use relevant methods for research and scholarly analyses in an independent manner


    Competence-the candidate

    • Can analyze relevant academic, professional, and research ethical problems
    • Can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects
    • Can communicate extensive independent work and master the language and terminology of the academic field
    • Can communicate about academic issues, analyses, and conclusions in the field, both with specialists and the general public
    • Can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes


    After completion of the course the student will:

    • Understand the concept of managerial decision making
    • Understand the broader set of factors that influence managerial decision making
    • Be able to develop strategies for managerial decision making
    • Be able to test relevant research hypotheses regarding managerial decision making
    • Be able to improve the quality of managerial judgment
    • Be able to create an awareness of the decision-making process
    • Understand strategies that can be used to improve decision processes
    • Be able to deal with assumptions of rationality and bounded rationality
    • Be able to distinguish between normative and descriptive theories
    • Understand how managers perceive and process information
    • Understand how managers make decisions under uncertainty

  • Teaching

    Class preparation and contribution (40%): Each participant is required to come prepared to class. Absence and lack of preparedness are unacceptable. Attendance in all classes is therefore mandatory for this course. Exemptions for not attending a specific class can be obtained from the professor on a case by case basis. Preparation will always involve reading all the assignments. In addition, each article will be assigned to a class member who will prepare a short PowerPoint presentation to be e-mailed to all class members by the day of the class meeting.

    Individual research proposal (60%): Participants will also need to write a research proposal that relates to topic(s) covered in class and also to their own research interests. The proposal should identify a research question, review and critique the literature on the topic, develop a few testable hypotheses, and offer a possible design for testing the proposed hypotheses. Proposals spanning to other disciplines such as accounting, finance, marketing, strategy can be acceptable, with prior approval on the subject.

  • Required prerequisites

    From Fall 2015 the following prerequisites will apply: The course requires some basic notions of research methodology for the social sciences in order to facilitate effective reading/comprehension of the course material and for preparing the course paper. In NHH terms, this includes STR402A (formerly STR405), but another introductory master level course in social science research methodology will normally cover these requirements.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    There will be no changes to the assessment in this course in the spring semester of 2020.

    Overall course grade: Grading scale A-F.

    Class preparation and contribution (40%): Grading scale A - F

    Individual research proposal (60%): Grading scale A - F

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Selected articles


ECTS Credits
Teaching language


Course responsible

Professor Marcus Selart, Department of Strategy and Management