What are some common obstacles to effective decision making on the part of managers?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many obstacles to making effective decisions.  Let us look at a few of the more common psychological or mental obstacles that managers can encounter.  These are obstacles that prevent managers from thinking clearly about the issues that they face.

One major obstacle is overconfidence.  Studies have shown that we tend to greatly overestimate our abilities.  This is particularly true in areas that are our strengths.  In other words, we can know we are strong in a given area, but we overestimate how strong we are.  This can lead us to make bad decisions because we overestimate our ability to make good decisions and therefore we do not listen to any negative opinions.

Another major obstacle that goes along with this is confirmation bias.  This occurs when we only really pay attention to evidence or opinions that support ours.  We then make bad decisions because we did not take into account facts that might have suggested that we should take a different course of action.

A final obstacle is anchoring bias.  This is a bias in which we give too much weight to the first piece of information or the first idea that we hear.  We then let that information “anchor” our thinking in place and we have a hard time changing our opinions when new information comes in.

These are some obstacles that make it harder for us to think clearly and make good decisions as managers.