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    Improving Decision Making

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    Please help so that I can complete the assignment below. I need help getting started. Any help will be much appreciated.

    For this assignment you will be preparing a presentation analyzing a single example of poor decision making. The presentation is intended to be delivered to other managers who make decisions similar to the one(s) that you are analyzing. Your goal is to help these managers "learn" from the example so they can avoid making the same mistakes.

    To begin you will need to use the use the AIU Library, the Internet, and course resources to locate a single example (from business, news reports, government, economics, history, and so forth) where decisions made produced negative consequences.

    Examples of the types of decisions you may choose from include: (you may use one of these or select one on your own)

    * Decision to allow the Challenger shuttle to fly in cold weather
    * Decision by Martha Stewart to lie to federal prosecutors
    * Decision by Coca-Cola to introduce "New Coke"
    * Decision by Paris Hilton to drive while intoxicated and with a suspended license
    * Decision by Enron executives to commit fraud
    * Decision by President Kennedy not to support the Cuban invasion at the Bay of Pigs

    These are only a few examples. There are literally thousands of decisions you can choose from if you do a bit of research.

    Remember that in presentations slides focus only on main posts with the specific information and details about each point identified within speaker's notes (speaker's notes contain all the information needed by the speaker to address each main point on each slide in detail. Your presentation does not need graphics (although they are acceptable in moderation) or special effects. (If you are unfamiliar with how to use PowerPoint please visit the PowerPoint Guide in the Student Success Learning Lab).

    Your presentation should address each of the following:

    * A brief description of the example selected. Outline the situation (what happened, when, where), identify what decisions were made and why, and explain the negative consequences that resulted. The more detailed you are here the easier it will be for you to provide analysis for parts 2, 3, & 4 of the project.
    * From our learning all semester (Units 1, 2, 3, & 4) identify what decision concepts (theories, principles, heuristics, traps, etc.) were present in the situation. For each concept identified be sure to provide information to support how and why you believe each was present.
    * Provide an overview focusing on what other managers, who make similar types of decisions, can learn from your analysis so they can become better decision makers.

    PART 2

    To complete this project assignment you will need to have read the assigned chapters in the text for Unit 4 and you will need to complete some independent research (in the AIU Library or on the internet) on behavioral traps.

    From our learning this unit we discovered that there are 5 different types of behavioral traps; the (1) time delay trap, (2) investment trap, (3) deterioration trap, (4) ignorance trap, (5) collective trap. Behavioral traps are almost always identified in hindsight but an awareness of them can help us, as decision makers, avoid becoming "trapped".

    Post an answer to the following questions:

    1. Based on your reading and research during Unit 4, in your opinion, which one of the 5 behavioral traps do you believe is the easiest to fall into and which one is the easiest to avoid?
    2. Identify an example of how an individual may fall into one of the traps you identified. Make sure you don't use an example from the chat sessions or one previously posted by a fellow student.

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    Solution Preview


    Interesting assignment! One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to address each question from various sources, which you can then use to prepare your presentation and discussion questions. This is the approach this response takes.

    Let's take a closer look.


    I. Your presentation should address each of the following:

    1. A brief description of the example selected. Outline the situation (what happened, when, where), identify what decisions were made and why, and explain the negative consequences that resulted. The more detailed you are here the easier it will be for you to provide analysis for parts 2, 3, & 4 of the project.

    Martha Stewart took the advice of her financial advisor and then she "lied to federal prosecutors." Stewart faced charges that she lied to federal investigators and conspired with Mr. Bacanovic to hinder an investigation of her December 2001 sale of stock in ImClone Systems, a company then led by her friend Dr. Samuel D. Waksal. Lawyers representing all sides will meet with the judge tomorrow morning to discuss the instructions that the judge will give jurors next Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected on Monday and Tuesday.

    New York Times reports that:

    Martha Stewart tried to cover up evidence about a questionable stock sale in an effort to save her own corporate empire, prosecutors said in opening her trial. "This is a case about obstruction, it's about lying to federal agents, it's about perjury and obstruction and cheating investors," said prosecutor Karen Seymour in federal court in New York. "Martha Stewart had a multi-billion (dollar) business at stake and if it (the truth) came out, it would be bad for her reputation." Seymour said Stewart and her broker conspired in an effort to keep the matter from coming to light. "This would be bad for her reputation and bad for business," Seymour said. "To protect themselves and to protect their fortunes, they chose to create a cover story." Stewart, 62, obstruction of justice for seeking to thwart investigators' attempts to shed light on her case. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_kmafp/is_200401/ai_kepm361758/print

    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A jury found Martha Stewart guilty Friday on all four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators about a well-timed stock sale, and the former stockbroker turned style-setter could face years in jail. http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/05/news/companies/martha_verdict/ Martha was sentenced to 5 months in prison and two years of supervised release. She served her time.

    Not everyone agrees that Martha was actually guilty of any crime. For example, according to Roberts (2004, attached as : Martha Stewart.doc ),

    "the only thing she has been found guilty of is lying about a noncrime." For example, Mrs. Stewart was neither charged with, nor found guilty of, insider trading. Neither she nor her broker had inside information that ImClone's anti-cancer drug ...

    Solution Summary

    Through illustrative example, this solution explains the problem solving process, including a description of the problem, identification of decision-making concepts and the things that a manager might learn from the example so she or he can become better problem solvers. By example, it also discusses the 5 behavioral traps, including the trap easiest to fall into as well as the trap easiest to avoid. Supplemented with three related resources on problem solving and behavioral traps.