Decision Making in the Workplace: A Unified Perspective

By Lee Roy Beach | Go to book overview

1
IMAGE THEORY, THE UNIFYING PERSPECTIVE1

Lee Roy Beach University of Arizona

Terence R. Mitchell University of Washington

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the conceptual foundation, image theory, on which subsequent chapters are built. We begin with an informal description of image theory, followed by a more formal presentation. Finally, we describe the main themes and findings of research on image theory.


BACKGROUND

It seems to us that in the 40 years of behavioral decision research there have been four major changes in how unaided decision making is viewed ( Beach, 1993). The early view, which still prevails in some quarters, was that all decisions were properly regarded as (usually risky) choices that, after extensive evaluation of the available options, resulted from maximization of expected utility or some normative variation thereof.

The first change came from recognition that evaluation seldom is extensive and virtually never is exhaustive (e.g., Simon, 1955; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). This means that maximization in any strict sense does not occur and that two courses are open to decision theorists. One is to insist that decision makers are flawed, that they should be trying to maximize

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1
Portions of this chapter are from "Broadening the Definition of Decision Making: The Role of Pre-Choice Screening of Options," by L. R. Beach, 1993, Psychological Science, 4, pp. 215-220. Copyright Cambridge University Press, 1993. Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press.

-1-

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Decision Making in the Workplace: A Unified Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: Image Theory, the Unifying Perspective 1
  • References 19
  • 2: Why a New Perspective on Decision Making is Needed 21
  • References 30
  • 3: Job Search and Job Selection 33
  • Conclusions 46
  • References 46
  • 4: Career Decisions 49
  • Conclusions 61
  • References 62
  • 5: Supervision and Job Satisfaction 63
  • References 71
  • 6: Why Employees Quit 73
  • Conclusion 89
  • References 89
  • 7: Audit Decisions 91
  • Summary 99
  • References 99
  • 8: Screening of Clients by Audit Firms 101
  • Conclusions 115
  • References 116
  • 9: Organizational Culture and Decision Making 117
  • Summary and Practical Implications 129
  • References 131
  • 10: Mitigating Cultural Constraints on Group Decisions 133
  • Conclusion 141
  • References 142
  • 11: Imagination and Planning 143
  • References 153
  • 12: Designing Marketing Plans and Communication Strategies 155
  • Summary and Conclusions 164
  • References 164
  • 13: Consumer Decisions Involving Social Responsibility 165
  • Conclusion 177
  • References 179
  • 14: Image Compatibility and Framing 181
  • References 193
  • 15: Image Theory and Workplace Decisions: Challenges 197
  • References 208
  • Author Index 209
  • Subject Index 215
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