Boom and Bust Behavior: On the Persistence of Strategic Decision Biases

THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ORGANIZATIONAL DECISION MAKING, GP Hodgkinson, WH Starbuck, eds., pp. 33-55, Oxford University Press, 2008

32 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007 Last revised: 7 May 2009

Michael Shayne Gary

UNSW Business School

Giovanni Dosi

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM)

Dan Lovallo

University of Western Australia

Date Written: September 20, 2007

Abstract

Boom and bust or overshoot and collapse dynamics are common among firms in a large range of different industries. The underlying cognitive and behavioral factors responsible for strategic decisions driving boom and bust dynamics include misperceptions of feedback, attribution errors, and the inside view frame. These cognitive and behavioral factors also act as strong impediments to learning, resulting in repeated boom and bust episodes at the managerial, organizational, and industry level. Two tentative strategies for mitigating boom and bust behavior are identified. The first strategy focuses on developing schema of market diffusion and capacity expansion in managing product lifecycles. A second strategy is to ensure managers adopt an outside view by paying attention to historical time series of similar cases of diffusion/capacity building in order to detect inflection or turning points. At the same time, it is possible that there might be a positive collective side to boom and bust behavior fostering accumulation of knowledge and physical infrastructure, especially regarding new technological paradigms.

Keywords: decision biases, heuristics, system dynamics, schema, decision rules

JEL Classification: D81, E32, O32, D70, D21, C91

Suggested Citation

Gary, Michael Shayne and Dosi, Giovanni and Lovallo, Dan, Boom and Bust Behavior: On the Persistence of Strategic Decision Biases (September 20, 2007). THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ORGANIZATIONAL DECISION MAKING, GP Hodgkinson, WH Starbuck, eds., pp. 33-55, Oxford University Press, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015817

Michael Shayne Gary (Contact Author)

UNSW Business School ( email )

Management - Level 5 Building E12
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/our-people/shaynegary

Giovanni Dosi

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM) ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33
Pisa, I-56127
Italy

HOME PAGE: www.lem.sssup.it

Dan Lovallo

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

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