From Visions of Grandeur to Grand Failure: Alternative schools of descriptive decision theories to explain the Berlin Brandenburg

Joana Geraldi, Verena Stingl

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    Abstract

    Berlin Brandenburg Airport exemplifies the impact of poor decisions in projects. Extant research on behavioural decision making in project contexts offers a variety of explanations for poor decisions. However, the research sheds only spotlights on the field. It could benefit from a stronger coverage of theories in cognitive and social psychology and integration of findings and concepts across theoretical traditions. Drawing on the developments of Behavioural Strategy, this paper proposes the concept of ‘Behavioural Projects’ as a host of the growing body of research on behavioural decision making in projects. We organise extant research in a conceptual framework rooted in three schools of thinking - psychological (reductionist), political (pluralist) and social (contextualist). We illustrate how the three schools and their integration provide ample research opportunities through an analysis of decisions in the Berlin Brandenburg Airport fiasco. Based on our framework, we propose a research program that serves as inspiration for future studies on the crossroads between cognitive and social psychology theories and decision situations in projects. We hope that such future research will give rise to the development of an integrated behavioural decision making theories for temporary organisations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of EURAM 2016
    Number of pages40
    PublisherAcademy of Management
    Publication date2016
    Article number2298
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventEURAM 2016 - Université Paris Est Créteil, Paris, France
    Duration: 1 Jun 20164 Jun 2016

    Conference

    ConferenceEURAM 2016
    LocationUniversité Paris Est Créteil
    CountryFrance
    CityParis
    Period01/06/201604/06/2016
    SeriesProceedings of EURAM 16
    ISSN2466-7498

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