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Dynamics Suggested by Messick and Bazerman

Do you think that people are susceptible to these dynamics as Messick and Bazerman suggest? Do you have any examples from personal experience? If they are correct, what should we do about it? Are there any systems an institution could put in place to check decision-making?

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Decision-making is a crucial step in management. In their write-up, Messick and Bazerman have given a review of the tough conditions in which managers normally have to make important decisions.

In today’s competitive world, it has become more of a challenging task to take decisions in the most difficult of situations, because whatever decisions the executives will take, will affect the organization’s position in the country, and around the globe, according to the network it comprises. Messick and Bazerman suggest that it is psychological tendencies giving rise to coming up with poor decisions, that further result in unethical business decisions in the corporate world. The authors have given three theories related to ethical decision-making that may assist executives in coming up with better decisions, after identifying rough situations. These three theories relate to the world, other people around us, and us. The theories about the world include those points that we believe about the world, they are basically our perceptions of the world. The theories about other people are linked to what ‘we’ think of ‘them’, and other such distinctions between us and others. The theories about ‘us’ involve such beliefs that make us ignore our chances of failure. At times we think we are too good at performing and keep failure risks aside while taking decisions. This is basically because we know we are unique in ourselves.

A personal example that can be quoted here was when I moved out of my in-laws, thinking it would benefit me and my kids in the long run. I was blind to the consequences that I was risking and just made the decision because I wanted a so-called ‘independent’ life. But soon after I moved, I realized how selfish I was in doing so, and that I had deprived my children of the love of their grandparents, which I now feel is very essential for the children, and for me and my spouse. At the time of my decision making, I did not consider it a mean act on my part, and was very confident, with the assurance of myself never being able to make a wrong decision. I wanted to be away from ‘them’ and became just like them.

We cannot exactly change the way people think, so it is a little difficult for the top decision-makers of an organization to make the decisions that they ought to, instead of those that they presently execute. Every individual has his or her own perceptions of things, and matters, and the people who have the authority to make decisions, are the ones that are followed by all subordinates and employees. In other words, we can say those whole organizations are run on the thought process of one or two individuals, who are designated at the managerial level.

One option the organizations can consider would be the involvement of every employee’s opinion in undertaking major decisions of the firm. This could help take their votes, and provide strategies that will result in the contentment of the majority. This could be done by informing the employees about a major change that is to be brought about, followed by their feedback on the proposal laid before them. In this way, better ideas may at times be accomplished through a greater number of opinions. Plus, there will be no authoritarianism in the organization.

It is therefore essential to respect each individual and the opinions they put forth; the authoritative figures of an organization should try to think out of the box for better results.

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Messick, D. & Bazerman, M. Ethical Leadership and the Psychology of Decision Making.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 5). Dynamics Suggested by Messick and Bazerman.

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"Dynamics Suggested by Messick and Bazerman." StudyCorgi, 5 Dec. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Dynamics Suggested by Messick and Bazerman'. 5 December.

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