Leadership style and self-efficacy predict decision-coping patterns : great leaders, bad decisions and serious consequences

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Buggy, Richard
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
Organisations usually rely upon groups of experienced, qualified and motivated individuals to make strategic decisions. Many psychological factors, including social-influence, leadership and self-efficacy, shape decision-making. This research-project examined interactions of Leadership Style, Self-efficacy and Decision-coping Patterns, amongst a sample of 66 organisational decision-makers (M=35, F=31), and showed that the best leaders employ the best decision-making strategy. While groups are believed to produce more rational decisions, than individuals, recent high profile examples demonstrate that they frequently produce flawed decisions, with terrible consequences. Alarmingly, many participants report that dissent & critical thinking are discouraged, and relatively few have received decision-making training from employers. Nevertheless, precedent illustrates how problems, within an organisational system, will repeat if the systemic causes aren’t addressed. This study concludes that organisational leaders should receive training, from Social Scientists, on psychological factors which influence decision-making, how to recognise symptoms and inoculate group members against the maladaptive behaviours described within. Author keywords: Bank crisis, decision making, groupthink, leadership, NASA, precedent, self-efficacy