Studying the Accuracy of Managers' Perceptions: A Research Odyssey



Much organizational activity and academic research relies on the accuracy of managers' perceptions. However, few studies have assessed the accuracy of managerial perceptions, and these studies indicate that managers' perceptions are often very inaccurate. This article discusses an odyssey into the study of managerial perceptions spanning two decades and two empirical studies. It depicts the evolution of research questions, samples, study designs, problems with such research and inferences drawn. It also identifies some errors that tend to be especially large and suggests some corrective actions. These corrective actions include using education and training to inform managers about organizational and environmental properties, exploiting improved technology, helping organizations to identify and correct misperceptions and designing robust organizations that can tolerate misperceptions.