Better Decision Making

Courses designed to put theory into practice

Female delegate at executive education event

Two days

As managers we all have to make business decisions on a regular basis. Some decisions are more important than others. Some are easy to make but many are difficult. This programme focuses on 'understanding and improving human judgement and decision making.'

What is it?

This two day course will give you an awareness of current thinking in best practice decision making.

Day 1 outlines current research into how we make decisions and outlines research that will improve our overall approach to decision making.

Day 2 will apply this body of knowledge in real business contexts and enable delegates to practice a range of tools and techniques to improve decision making.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for managers from all sectors who wish to improve their decision making.

No prior knowledge of the theory of decision making is assumed. 

There are only two expectations of participants:

  • the willingness to share examples of the types of strategic and /or operational decisions they face or have faced (be the outcomes “successful” or “less successful.”)  
  • a willingness to reflect on, and question their own thinking.

The content of this one day introduction can be tailored in line with participants’ preferences, for example, to take into account particular current strategic issues or contextual situations.

What are the benefits?

By the end of day 1 delegates will have:

  • A flavour of the large body of research on the thinking and reasoning processes that underlie human decision making
  • Seen how these can, on occasions, lead to errors that can affect the quality of decision making
  • Considered ways of overcoming these negative effects by improving thinking and reasoning and the use of structured approaches to decision aiding
  • Considered the implications of the above in the context of decision making in specific organisational contexts.

By the end of day 2 delegates will have:

  • Explored the practical implications of “Understanding and improving human decision making” (Day 1)
  • Rehearsed the use of theoretical insights gained for improving bargaining and negotiation situations, and risk communication
  • Practiced using structured decision aids
  • Considered the implications of the above in the context of decision making in specific organisational contexts


The programme will be delivered by members of the Centre for Decision Research over the course of two days.

Day 1

The first day of the course entitled 'Understanding and improving human judgement & decision making: Getting it right, more often' will cover the following:

  • What do we mean by decision making?  What kinds of decisions are commonly faced by delegates? How do we learn to make decisions?
  • Limited capacity processing – the type of thinking that humans use to deal with cognitive limitations and prevent information overload
  • Mental modelling/decision framing - overcoming detrimental contextual influences on decision making through the use of problem structuring aids. 
  • Gathering and interpreting evidence - when choosing between alternatives, we gather and interpret evidence so that we can come to some conclusion that allows us to choose the best course of action. However, this can be prone to systematic biases and heuristics, such as overconfidence and confirmation thinking, availability thinking, anchoring thinking, representativeness thinking and escalation of commitment.
  • Group decision making and information sharing – considering the advantages and limitations of group decision making and assessing validity of information and expertise. Aiding shared decision making – such as training in group skills, structured approaches, decision conferencing and group decision support.
Day 2

This course will build directly on learning and teachings from day 1 of the course and is entitled 'Advanced understanding of human judgement and decision making: Applying the theory for results.'

The main topics for the day include:

  • Structured decision aiding
  • Decision theoretic approaches to risk perception and communication
  • Improving bargaining and negotiation

Contact us

Executive Education Team

For further information please contact the Executive Education Team.


Tel: +44 (0)113 344 3911