Designing Decisions in the Unknown: A Generative Model

20 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020

See all articles by Pascal Le Masson

Pascal Le Masson

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS)

Armand Hatchuel

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS)

Mario Le Glatin

Université Paris Dauphine - PSL Research University

Benoit Weil

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS)

Date Written: Summer 2019

Abstract

This study examines how design theory enables to extend decision‐making logic to the ‘unknown,’ which often appears as the strange territory beyond the rationality of the decision‐maker. We contribute to the foundations of management by making the unknown an actionable notion for the decision‐maker. To this end, we build on the pioneering works in ‘managing in the unknown’ and on design theory to systematically characterize rational forms of action in the unknown. We show that action consists of designing decisions in the unknown and can be organized on the basis of the notion of a ‘decision‐driven design path,’ which is not yet a decision but helps to organize the generation of a better decision‐making situation. Our decision‐design model allows us to identify four archetypes of decision‐driven design paths. They enable us to discuss the variety of known organizational forms that managers can rely on to explore the unknown.

Keywords: unknown, design theory, decision theory, generativity

Suggested Citation

Le Masson, Pascal and Hatchuel, Armand and Le Glatin, Mario and Weil, Benoit, Designing Decisions in the Unknown: A Generative Model (Summer 2019). European Management Review, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 471-490, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3599368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/emre.12289

Pascal Le Masson (Contact Author)

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS) ( email )

60, boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris Cedex 06, 75272
France
+01 40 51 92 21 (Phone)

Armand Hatchuel

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS) ( email )

60, boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris Cedex 06, 75272
France
+33 1 405 19 109 (Phone)
+33 1 404 60 301 (Fax)

Mario Le Glatin

Université Paris Dauphine - PSL Research University

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris cedex 16, 75775
France

Benoit Weil

École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris - Centre de Gestion Scientifique (CGS) ( email )

60, boulevard Saint-Michel
Paris Cedex 06, 75272
France
+01 40 51 91 06 (Phone)
+01 40 46 03 01 (Fax)

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