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Fast and frugal crisis management: an analysis of rule-based judgment and choice during water contamination events

MacGillivray, Brian H. 2014. Fast and frugal crisis management: an analysis of rule-based judgment and choice during water contamination events. Journal of Business Research 67 (8) , pp. 1717-1724. 10.1016/j.jbusres.2014.02.018

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Drawing on the fast and frugal research program, this paper describes a retrospective field study of decision making during water contamination events. It characterizes three heuristics employed in real-world decision making. The credibility heuristic discriminates between signals from targets and noise from distracters on the basis of the perceived trustworthiness of the message conveyor. With the precedent heuristic, the response to an unfolding event is determined by searching for past analogues (i.e. precedents) and, if found, treating the current event in the same fashion. By contrast, the facts-trump-speculation heuristic discriminates between conflicting explanations or claims according to how they rank on pre-determined hierarchies of evidence (orders of cue validities), neglecting utilities and avoiding the aggregation of competing lines of evidence. Rather than cataloguing the biases that these heuristics lead to, this paper focuses on the structural factors which shape each heuristic’s ecological rationality. In doing so, the study develops ideas about how particular infrastructure systems and forms of social organization structure the validity of cues, the accessibility of information, and the application of particular heuristics. The study also introduces the concept of safeguards to rule-based reasoning, and the idea that heuristics can be used to rationalize decisions, and deployed strategically to persuade other social actors. The over-arching claim is that the fast and frugal program provides a powerful framework for analyzing judgment and choice in organizations, and offers a bridge between psychological and political models of organizational behavior.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Additional Information: Available online 18 March 2014
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0148-2963
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 July 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 January 2014
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 01:47

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