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References and Selected Readings

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References and Selected Readings

Abernathy, W., and Utterback, J. (1982). “Patterns of Industrial Innovations.” In M. Tushman and W. Moore (Eds.), Readings in Management Innovations. Boston: Pitman.

Ackoff, R. (1981). Creating the Corporate Future. New York: Wiley.

Adizes, I. (1988). Corporate Life Cycles: How and Why Corporations Grow and Die and What to Do about It. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Agar, W. (1986). The Logic of Intuitive Decision-Making. New York: Quorum.

Albert, S. (1984). “A Delete Design for Successful Transitions.” In J. Kimberly and R.

Quinn (Eds.), Managing Organizational Transitions. New York: Dow Jones-Irwin.

Alexander, L. (1986). “Successfully Implementing Strategic Decisions.” In B. MayonWhite (Ed.), Planning and Managing Change. London: Harper and Row.

Allison, G. T. (1969). “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” American

Political Science Review, 63, 689–718.

Alter, C., and Hage, C. (1993). Organizations Working Together. Newbury Park, CA:

Sage.

Amabile, T. (1996). Creativity in Context: Update to Social Psychology of Creativity.

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Chapter 9: Ethical Traps

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Ethical Traps

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person’s ethical stance is rooted in his or her standards of fairness and justice. What one believes to be fair and just is imposed on a decision and how the decision is made. Decision makers apply standards of fairness and justice to what they see, which may or may not capture what actually takes place. Both the appearance and the reality of an ethical lapse can spell trouble. A decision seen to be threatening to an organization’s image or to its traditions of fair play provokes strong reactions. Concerned individuals may be moved to use any means at their disposal to prevent the erosion of image or a departure from fair play. A lack of vocal opposition can be misleading. People file perceived ethical lapses on a personal scorecard, providing an ongoing read of management’s moral compass.

The decision debacles illustrate ethical lapses, their consequences, and how they can trap decision makers. To dodge an ethical trap, you need both awareness and a means to cope. Awareness can be gained by uncovering the motives behind ethically questionable positions. To evade this kind of ethical trap, you must counter the often implicit incentives that encourage people to hold these positions. Situations in which people have opposing ethical positions pose a second kind of trap. To navigate around this trap, you must look for the values behind the opposing views. Once these core values are understood, you can seek actions and practices that recognize them and can alter your course of action and your decision approach to remove objections and affirm core values.

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Contents

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Medium 9781576751503

Chapter 1: Blunders that Launch a Decision Debacle

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Blunders That Launch a Decision Debacle

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he overpriced and rarely visited Millennium Dome in London and Firestone’s botched tire recall spotlight decision debacles.

The dome opened January 1, 2000, ushering in the new millennium with promises of a futuristic, flashy, high-tech experience for people willing to ante up the price of admission. Controversy soon quelled the hype. Championed by the previous conservative government, Labor Prime Minister

Blair embraced the dome as he took office, calling it “a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness.” Others saw it differently, and the dome became a national embarrassment within weeks of its opening. Tories and Laborites pointed fingers and argued over whom to blame.

Critics were downright hostile, calling it, among other things, vain, vapid, patronizing, and, with its twenty-five pound admission fee, grossly overpriced. The dome’s sixteen zones offered a blend of theme exhibits, interactive technology, and live shows that, according to the critics, failed to work together and lacked the promised “wow” factor. Worst of all, no one came. Twelve million visitors were forecasted, but fewer than 4.5 million, many with cut-price tickets, paid to get in. The Labor government put 785 million pounds into the project and had to infuse it with an additional 175 million pounds to keep it afloat. Heads rolled. Blair and the dome’s other champions, including the former head of British Air and major bank and local television executives, took hits on their reputations. The dome closed a year to the day from its opening, awash in red ink, with still another overhyped celebration, this time to mark the actual date of the new millen-

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Chapter 10: Learning Traps

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Learning Traps

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ecisions produce outcomes with consequences. Learning requires an assessment of these consequences and the actions taken to realize them. Fire departments learn by reviewing how major fires were handled, examining how firefighters and equipment were dispatched and used on the scene and looking for practices that should be modified.

Everyone involved is assembled to determine how the fire could have been fought differently to reduce property losses, injuries, and any loss of life.

Surgeons, cardiologists, and other diagnosticians gather regularly to review cases, examining the progress of heart surgery patients, comparing notes about predicted prognoses, procedures used, and outcomes, questioning methods, and sharing experiences. Such reviews are mandatory for inservice training in all U.S. hospitals. The partners of consulting firms debrief consultants upon their return from an engagement, asking probing questions to learn what was done, what worked, and to offer advice. The partners look for ways to use the knowledge gained to serve new clients, to do the same thing at the same price for less cost, and to isolate best practices.

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