Not available in 2019/20
PB304      Half Unit
Organisational and Social Decision-Making

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Thomas Reader


This course is available on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course examines theory and methodologies for understanding and improving organisational and social decision-making.


Students should have taken Foundations of Psychological Science (PB101) or Foundations of Behavioural Science (PB100).

Course content

This course will offer students an overview of key theoretical approaches and debates concerning decision-making in organisational and social settings. The lectures and classes will explore how the following influences organisational and social decision-making:

  • cognitive and individual factors,
  • group interactions, social relationships and organisational culture,
  • expertise and situational constraints.

Drawing on cognitive, social, and organisational psychology theorem, students will:

  • develop a holistic understanding of how decision-making occurs in organisations,
  • explain its impact upon individual and organisational success,
  • be able to outline methods for improving decision-making in organisations.

Students will be integrate the ideas from the course with their wider learning in their degreess, and to consider the application of those ideas to real world cases and problems.

The course will include topics such as:

Individual decision-making in organisations

  • Heuristics and biases in decision-making
  • Interventions to reduce cognitive bias in decision-making
  • Individual differences and decision-making
  • Problem solving and decision-making
  • Intuitive decision-making

Social decision-making in organisations

  • Decision-making in groups
  • Cultures of decision-making
  • Methods for observing and improving decision-making


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

1. Complete a take-home multiple-choice quiz in the LT.

2. Deliver an oral presentation in the LT.

Indicative reading

Bazerman, M., & Moore, D. (2009).  Judgment in Managerial Decision-Making. NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Furnham, A. (2005). The Psychology of Behaviour at Work. Hove: Psychology Press.

Gladwell, M. (2007). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. Hachette Digital, Inc..

Hardman, D. K., & Hardman, D. (2009). Judgment and decision making: Psychological perspectives (Vol. 11). John Wiley & Sons.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Macmillan.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.

Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in Organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Zsambok, C. E., & Klein, G. (2014). Naturalistic decision making. Psychology Press.

Students will be expected to read essential readings plus additional reading from the primary literature each class. These readings will be provided in the course outline.


Essay (100%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills