Theoretical background

Business decisions are the most crucial when they involve huge amount and time. Acquiring a new firm, expansion, product development or hiring executives -- bad decisions can result in ruining the organisations and careers of those who are directly or indirectly associated with them. However, many important decisions in organisations are at the mercy of strange functioning of the human mind. This ultimately makes the examination of human performance as one of the most sensitive subjects. For over half a century, researchers have been struggling to find out the way the human mind functions. These have often been referred to as the hidden traps of decision making. Individuals think that they are unbiased and ethical. They assume that they have the capacity to reach rational and fair conclusions which are in the organisation’s best interest. The truth is that we harbour multiple unethical and unconscious biases that often undermine our effectiveness as managers and derails us from the right track. Not only these hidden biases may prevent us from recognising highly talented workers, but they may also stop us from forming meaningful and effective collaborations.


Important lessons about leadership and decision making could be learnt from some unfortunate events that took place in the past. One such incident happened at the Mount Everest more than two decades ago. Hall and Fischer, the leaders in adventure expeditions, gathered at the base camp with their teams and planned their final push to the summit amidst lower levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. Against their plan to climb the Everest by midday, many climbers arrived at the top much behind schedule. As the night enveloped the area, they were forced to descend. Unfortunately, a severe storm covered the mountain resulting in freezing temperature and lack of visibility, making it a painful descent. Eventually, the climbers ran out of supplement oxygen and went disoriented. Five of them could not survive these conditions and were lost. The day is always remembered as one of the deadliest in the history of the Everest.

To read more, please subscribe.