Pitfalls and Best Practices in Decision-Making
This one-credit, five-day graduate seminar examines decision-making from both a theoretical perspective and from its execution in practice. The course introduces students to various models of decision-making; explores cognitive biases in decisionmaking; and examines how decision-makers often use — and misuse — historical analogies and lessons from history. The course also focuses on the concept of risk and decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty, as well as the effect of leaders, bureaucracies, and groups on decisions. Drawn, in part, from the professor’s nearly six years on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, the seminar will incorporate select examples from U.S. national security (including one case study that will be analyzed using multiple theoretical lenses over the duration of the seminar). However, the theories, pitfalls, and best practices studied throughout the course also apply to business, public policy, and leadership decisions more broadly.