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Adverse Decision

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ADVERSE DECISION

I'M CJ JACKSON, AND THIS IS THE "BUSINESS REVIEW"

THOUSANDS OF DECISIONS NEED TO BE MADE EVERY DAY, RANGING FROM THE MUNDANE TO THE COMPLEX. THOSE WHO SEEK COGNITIVE CLOSURE TEND TO BE AVERSE TO MAKING DECISIONS. ASHLEY OTTO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MARKETING, EXPLAINS WHY SOME TEAM MEMBERS PREFER CLOSURE OVER DECISION-MAKING.

“People who are motivated to achieve closure, they like a place for everything and everything in its place. So thinking outside of the box, trying new things, going out on a limb is probably something that's not going to be of particular interest to these individuals. What some of my newer research finds is that when they're exposed to new contexts, so something that they haven't encountered before they haven't made a decision that's related to the certain context, that they're willing to invest more effort into the decision the first time, so that in the future, they can revert back to that decision.”

ACCORDING TO DR. OTTO, SIMPLE QUESTIONS CAN BE USED TO ASSESS A TEAM MEMBER'S LEVEL FOR CLOSURE. INDIVIDUALS WITH DECISION-AVERSE TENDENCIES CAN BENEFIT FROM STRATEGIES THAT ENCOURAGE THEM TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

“So you could ask them, do you like to make to-do lists and cross things off your list? Are you a person who likes structure? and you're really organized. And these types of questions when the responses, yes, start to give us an understanding of whether person's higher need for closure is naturally going to be more decision adverse. When we're asking people who are seeking closure to be innovative, one of the things that might promote that is to put them in a new context where they don't have structure, they don't have something known to go to allow them to find that create and we might see them be more successful in those types of environments.

“BUSINESS REVIEW” IS A PRODUCTION OF LIVINGSTON & MCKAY AND THE HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Innovation-lover and director of communications and marketing at the Hankamer School of Business, CJ Jackson is also a public radio show host and Iowa State alum.