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Unit information: Behavioural Decision Making in 2021/22

Unit name Behavioural Decision Making
Unit code EFIMM0138
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Burger
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide students with a firm basis in both the theory and practice of cognitive science and decision-making in business analytics context. The unit centres around behavioural decision research which provides many important insights into managerial behaviour. From negotiation to investment decisions, behavioural decision research is integral to managerial decision making in the organizational realm by examining judgment in business analytics contexts. The unit focuses on how managerial capability and competency in decision sciences will not only meet short-term requirements for problem solving and decision support, but also help organizational decision makers build a solid foundation for the future.

This unit gives students the opportunity to understand their own decision-making tendencies, learn strategies for overcoming cognitive biases, and become better decision makers. The aim is to equip students with capabilities and competencies to provide sustained improvement to managerial decision processes.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • explain how cognition, heuristics and biases impact managerial judgement and recognise biases in others (ILO1)
  • demonstrate analytical skills required in managerial decision making and appreciate how users of models deal with incomplete and imprecise information, subjective boundaries and uncertainty (ILO2)
  • identify when emotion and cognition collide, recognise self-serving reasoning, and evaluate emotional influences on decision making (ILO3)
  • improve decision making by having developed an appreciation of the role of procedural rationality in management judgement, practiced the use of decision-analysis tools and procedures for debiasing judgement, learned to reason analogically, and gained an awareness of considerations influencing the design and develop behavioural interventions (ILO4)

Teaching Information

The learning process will be based on a combination of lectures and tutorials across 10x3-hour lectorials. Some of these sessions may be hosted by guest speakers from industry or other academic institutions. Emphasis will be placed on research, case studies and other problem-solving activities.

Students will be expected and directed to read from a range of sources including academic journals.

Students will interact and communicate within group activities enhancing practical leadership skills, including team, negotiating and influencing skills. They will work autonomously as well as interactively within group exercises.

Scheduled contact hours: 30 contact hours in total, to be split into 10x3 hourly lectorials. The remaining 170 learning hours will be spent in independent study and in the preparation of assessment.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment (ILOs1-3)

This will include a small range of methods including in class and/or on-line quizzes, debates and case evaluation.

Summative assessment (ILOs1-3)

The unit is assessed by means of a 3000-word individual essay.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0138).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.