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It’s week 4 already which means the start of the actual game. This meant from now on, all the decisions I make for our team will impact towards our final grade. Thinking about that alone made me extremely nervous.

 That was the first stage of my reflection based on Daudelin’s four stages of reflection (Daudelin, 1996). I was having trouble deciding on what strategy I should be making for my bit of the team as I was either too worried that I would mess up our result all because of my small input into MikesBikes or I was too careless thinking this part would not change the result too much.

 Due to this, I analysed my problem by looking at my past behaviour when faced with decision making. I noticed I was often drawn to all sorts of bias decisions such as the sunk-cost trap, overconfidence trap and prudence trap (Hammond, Keeney & Raiffa, 1998). I knew this was not an effective way to make decisions and realised I needed to work on it.

 I formulated a theory based on suggestions in Hammond et al. (1998) which gave me a better idea on how to deal with these ‘hidden traps’. I aimed to try to avoid the anchors caused in the process of decision making by analysing the different alternatives that could happen from different strategies chosen. I wanted to be more aware of these psychological traps when making decisions which could unconsciously make me lean towards a biased outcome.

 Finally, I took my reflections into action based on the theory I proposed. As my role was the marketing director, I was in charge of the advertising part of the simulation. I focused on asking other members of my group on their perspective because they are not involved in making advertising decisions. I also tried to ignore all feelings that could impact my decision making and go with gut decisions (Buchanan & O’Connel, 2006). I felt using my gut instinct would be wise for the first rollover since there was not much information regarding other groups’ decisions making it was hard to calculate the possible outcomes they would make.

 Overall, based on the first rollover result compared to the practice rollover results I could tell I am making improving my decision making skills. Our team did quite well for the first rollover and in terms of the decision I made, the outcome seems quite optimal. I want to continue using my reflection learning into this course so I can make more good decisions into the simulation.

 

References

Buchanan, L. & O'Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision makingHarvard Business Review, 84(1), 32–41.

Daudelin, W. M. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48.

Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (1998). The hidden traps in decision making. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 47+.

 

2 Comments

  1. Hi Sabrina!
    I really liked the structure of your journal, how you based it upon Daudelin's framework. It made your reflection process very clear and easy to follow. Also, it was great that you used the theories from our readings in order to analyze the problems you have encountered. I can totally understand why you felt nervous, and I think your approach of analyzing possible scenarios, talking with your group-mates and following your gut feeling is really the best thing you could have done in this situation.
    One thing I could suggest that might potentially improve your journal is setting some goals for the coming weeks, in hindsight of the events of last week. This way it might be easier for you to reflect on your improvement in your next journal.

  2. Hi Sabrina,

    I really enjoyed reading this journal and I have complete empathy with the issue that you have raised about decision making. As the CEO of my team, I often struggle to deal with those 'hidden traps' and worry about making a wrong move that would affect our team's success. I can see that you have structured your journal with Daudelin's 4 step method which is great because it shows the issue clearly, also how and why you are using the theories to help you formulate a solution towards the issue and learn from the experience. 

    Some things that I recommend is to analyse your theories more and expand it based on your experience of the decision-making process. For example, when you are analysing the problem, instead of telling us which 'hidden traps' affected you, but also explaining what each trap means and illustrate how they have affected your decisions based on your experiences. This would give more insight into your reflection process and help the readers understand exactly why this theory had affected your experience with decision-making. 

    Another thing I want to mention is that you said you wanted to avoid the anchors by analysing different alternatives in different strategies, but you also wanted to ignore all feelings that could impact your decision-making, which to me sounds a bit contradictory. As the CEO, deciding on strategies and grand visions are essential for my role so I agree with you on talking with each and every team member about every decision that you make that could affect the results of your team. This is because it offers you a variety of approaches to problem-solving and other perspectives. It is important to keep an open mind and think about each decision from different perspectives. I'm not saying you should not stick to your own decisions and do what others say, but to take every idea into consideration and ponder before you make your final decision. At times you may even find that you can combine the ideas and get even better results. Therefore, going with your gut as you mentioned may not be the best approach to decision-making despite the early success of your team. There are articles online that explain the aspects of marketing and how to improve your firm's awareness by calculations and reading the sensitivity data. Therefore, you should research it and calculate results based on it, then make your decisions with the focus of the strategy of your team.

    Overall, it was very interesting to read about your experience as a marketing manager and I wish you all the best with your team and your future learning!

    Kind regards,

    Allen