Delusions of Success: Comment on Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman

1 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2013 Last revised: 21 Oct 2013

See all articles by Bent Flyvbjerg

Bent Flyvbjerg

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: December 1, 2003

Abstract

Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman must be commended for their clear identification of causes and cures to the planning fallacy in, “Delusions of Success: How Optimism Undermines Executives’ Decisions” (July 2003). Their look at overoptimism, anchoring, competitor neglect, and the outside view in forecasting is highly useful to executives and forecasters. However, Lovallo and Kahneman underrate one source of bias in forecasting — the deliberate “cooking” of forecasts to get ventures started. My colleagues and I call this the Machiavelli factor.

Suggested Citation

Flyvbjerg, Bent, Delusions of Success: Comment on Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman (December 1, 2003). Harvard Business Review, Vol. 81, No.12, pp. 121-122. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2278359

Bent Flyvbjerg (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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