An Experimental Study of Executive Decision-making with Implications for Decision Support
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis
Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Past research in the field of information systems has explored factors and conditions that are relevant to decision-making in many contexts. However, very little is known about how executives consider, weigh, and integrate these factors. One current school of thought holds that intuition and instincts can play a significant role and that when decision-makers use their instincts, they rely on only a relatively small subset of the cues available to them. This has implications for designing and improving decision support systems, which form a major and widespread element of modern organizational computing. We examine the decision-making policies of professional decision-makers. High level information technology executives were asked to evaluate the likelihood of making a strategic investment in the face of varying environmental scenarios. Using policy-capturing methodology, we find differences between what the executives thought was important to their decision-making and what is revealed as actually being important. In addition, we find that personal characteristics of risk-taking propensity and innovativeness affect the way the decision-makers integrate information. We argue that the idiosyncratic nature of the executive-environment relationship calls for increased emphasis on developing suitably adapted decision support systems (e.g., business intelligence systems) for executive decision-making.