Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module BUSI41615: Management Decision Making

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI41615: Management Decision Making

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to give students an in-depth understanding at an advanced level of the complexities of decision making, and how decisions can be improved by specialist techniques such as decision analysis and scenario thinking;
  • emphasis will be placed on critically evaluating both the quality of management judgement and the assumptions underlying decision aiding techniques.


  • How people choose between alternatives;
  • Improving choice using multi-attribute vale analysis techniques;
  • Psychological pitfalls in choice: overconfidence, escalation of commitment, shift-to-risk in decision making;
  • Decision analysis - methods and techniques for making decisions that involve uncertainties;
  • Scenario planning versus decision analysis - creativity and the framing of decisions;
  • Decision making in management teams - pitfalls and remedies.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, student should have:
  • a specialist knowledge of the pitfalls in how individuals and management teams make decisions;
  • a critical appreciation of the assumptions, implications, and limitations of decision analysis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, student should have:
  • advanced skills in, and a critical understanding of, the techniques of decision analysis.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • A combination of lectures, case studies and workshops is appropriate for conveying the specialist knowledge and advanced skills set out in the Learning Outcomes.
    • The summative assessment will test students' ability to apply the techniques they have learned to the analysis of a particular problem.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Preparation & Reading
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 3,000 words (maximum) 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University