DEBIASING STRATEGIES IN SUPPLY MANAGEMENT DECISION-MAKING

Authors

  • Lutz Kaufmann,

    1. WHU — Otto Beisheim School of Management
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    • (Ph.D. University of Giessen) is the Herbert Quandt Chair in International Business and Supply Management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and the director of the WHU Asia Center. His research has been published in the Journal of Operations Management, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Marketing, and Journal of Supply Chain Management among others. He has published more than a dozen books on strategy and on supply management. Dr. Kaufmann is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Supply Chain Management. He has more than 10 years of experience in industry. Dr. Kaufmann holds an Honors BA and MBA from the University of Giessen.

  • Alex Michel,

    1. WHU — Otto Beisheim School of Management
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    • (Ph.D. WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management) is a post doc researcher in Supply Management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. He has several years of experience in industry and has served on the faculty of executive seminars in Europe. Dr. Michel holds an Honors BA and MBA from the University of Frankfurt.

  • Craig R. Carter

    1. University of Nevada
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    • (Ph.D. Arizona State University) is a professor of supply chain management at the University of Nevada. His primary research stream focuses on the socially responsible management of the supply chain. This research stream encompasses ethical issues in buyer-supplier relationships, environmental supply management, diversity sourcing, perceptions of opportunism surrounding electronic reverse auctions, and the broader, integrative concepts of social responsibility and sustainability. A secondary and often intersecting area of research examines international and cross-cultural supply chain management issues. He is a member of the editorial review boards of several journals, and the Co-Editor of the Journal of Supply Chain Management. His research has appeared in numerous supply chain management journals including Decision Sciences, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Transportation Journal, and Transportation Research E.


Abstract

Human judgment and decision making under uncertainty are vulnerable to decision biases leading to deviations from the standard assumptions of the rational paradigm in economics. This fact is currently not widely reflected by research on decision making in sourcing contexts. However, supply managers are aware of the judgment and decision challenges that result from existing and increasing levels of uncertainty in the external, upstream supply chain, and deploy decision supporting strategies for debiasing their judgments. The analysis of supply management decisions using 441 data units from 133 embedded cases from 15 buying organizations revealed high levels of such debiasing strategies. However, the seemingly most effective mitigation strategy recommended in the general debiasing literature - creating awareness of the underlying mechanics causing decision biases - was only employed by one buying organization, indicating a need to further investigate debiasing strategies specifically in supply management contexts.

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