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Behavioural and Analytical Decision Making


Admission requirements



Decision making is a critical determinant of organizational effectiveness whether we are discussing a football team, an army, a street gang or a multinational corporation. Decision making has a long and distinguished scientific tradition. This course will touch on some of that theory. The main aim, however, is to learn through experience. Organizational decision making is, despite the long tradition of scientific research, still a poorly understood subject. Making effective decisions is as much an art as it is a science. It entails insight into human psychology, group interaction, and the dynamics of organizational goals. In this course simulation and gaming are used to get a deeper appreciation for the dynamics of group interaction. A management simulation is organized that lasts almost a full day in which you can immerse yourself in a decision making situation. Furthermore, you will work in groups on assignments and exercises, and guest lectures will tell stories from the real world.
Topics of this course are:
1. Decision Making models
2. Psychology of Decision Making: ratio, intuition, biases, preconceptions, heuristics
3. System Dynamics
4. Leadership and Power
5. Designing a serious game for understanding policy questions
6. Group Dynamics: Tuckman in practice
7. Management Simulation (role playing game)

Course objectives

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand rational decision making situations

  • Understand cognitive biases and their effects on “irrational” decision making

  • Understand group dynamics in small groups

  • Understand the role of communication in group decision making

  • Understand the basics of System Dynamics and Serious Games


The schedule can be found on the LIACS website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

(guest) lectures
management game
group assignments

Assessment method

  • 5 group assignments 30%

  • one written exam 40%

  • one individual paper (5000 words +/- 30%) 30%


Behavioral and Analytical Decision Making

Reading list

Recommended reading:

  • Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011.

  • Chun Wei Choo, The Knowing Organization: How Organizations Use Information To Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge, and Make Decisions, Oxford University Press, 2006.

  • List of additional scientific articles and books, available on blackboard.

Signing up for classes and exams

You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis. Check this link for more information and activity codes.

There is a limited capacity for students from outside the master ICT in Business. Please contact the Programme Co-ordinator.

Contact information

Programme Co-ordinator ms. Judith Havelaar LL.M