From Behavioural Insights to Strategic Decision Modelling

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Management
  • Application code SS-MG110
  • Starting 2019
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: London

Please note this information is for guidance only; confirmation of courses are to be announced in November

Decision making is a central aspect of virtually every management and business activity. Important decisions are not only made by managers and entrepreneurs, but also by the consumers of their goods and services, and by their business rivals, partners and employees.

The ability to understand how decisions are made, and to predict, guide and improve those decisions will be an invaluable part of every manager’s toolbox. It is this ability that will be developed in this course. 

Some decisions are impossible to make analytically, for lack of time, data, computational ability, or awareness. These are situations that could put decision makers at risk of falling into systematic biases and errors. The first part of this course will raise your awareness about these “traps” with a view to becoming a better intuitive decision maker. You will thus learn how to take advantage of your intuition and free it from systematic biases when making decisions.

Other decisions are made with and require extensive thought and analysis, as the stakes are high, there are multiple conflicting objectives to balance, and many sources of uncertainty about the future. These decisions are defined as strategic decisions and will be the focus of the second part of this course. Here you will learn how to become a better analytic decision maker: you will gain hands-on experience for structuring decision problems, identifying and representing strategic objectives and value trade-offs, as well as uncertainties and risks.

This course focuses on strategic decision modelling. Students who are more interested in behavioural economics should consider EC200.

This course is an introductory course, tailored for undergraduates, or new graduates.

Executives and more experienced professionals are welcome instead to apply to the executive course Strategic Decision Making taught in the LSE Executive Summer School.


Session: One
Dates: 17 June – 5 July 2019
Lecturers: Dr Barbara Fasolo and Dr Valentina Ferretti


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Class attendance, participation, assignments and two examinations

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


There are no prerequisites for this course, although quantitative skills would be an advantage

Programme structure

  • Decision analysis
  • Decision maker and consumer behaviour
  • Behavioural science
  • Nudge
  • Heuristics and biases
  • Decision making by groups and organisations
  • Evidence-based decision making

You will also learn how to use sound decision-making principles and simple decision-analytic tools to make better decisions. The course requires active participation in classroom activities that bring to life the principles being discussed. 

Course outcomes

  • Learn how to choose in tough situations where stakes are high, and there are multiple conflicting objectives
  • Gain awareness of the common ‘decision traps’ we fall into
  • Understand why projects often take us longer and cost more than planned, and explore ways to get rid of this problem
  • Increase your knowledge of how we perceive risk, and how to act when there are risks and uncertainties involved in a decision
  • Enhance your ability to create options that are better than the ones originally available
  • Understand how to avoid decision traps and become a better decision maker



The Department of Management was established in 2000, and is committed to advancing the frontiers of the study of management, through its social-science based research, collaboration across the entire LSE, and its engagement with enterprises, organisations, and leaders throughout the world. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework has ranked LSE as the UK higher education leader for Business and Management Studies.

On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE.

Reading materials

Bazerman, M. and Moore, D.A., Judgment in Managerial Decision Making.  New York: Wiley. 8th edition (2013).

Goodwin, P and Wright, G. (2009) Decision Analysis for Management Judgment. Chichester, Wiley, 4th Ed.

Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa, Smart Choices. Harvard Business School Press: Boston. (1999)

These texts are recommended for background reading, and as a resource. Throughout the course chapters and articles will be assigned and distributed electronically.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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