Confirmation Bias Effect on Organizational Decision Making

Confirmation Bias Effect on Organizational Decision Making

All management functions within the organization require the act of decision making that
is influenced by various factors around the individual as well as the organizational context. The
quality and accuracy of the decision making relates to how factors in the manager’s environment
work towards optimizing sound and effective decision making for the wellbeing of the
organization. As conceptualized by the pioneers of capitalism such as Adam Smith, Stuart Mills,
and John Ricardo, decision making in the organization has to be rational. Despite the fact that
rationality in reason and economic thought is expected in the organization, there is appreciation
of the fact that rationality does not always guide decision making (Gatlin et al., 2017). In line
with this, there has been acceptance of the notion that human beings are liable to irrationalities,
fallibility, and certain levels of biases. One of the most common forms of biases affecting
decision making is the confirmation bias.

Confirmation Bias Effect on Organizational Decision Making

Confirmation bias refers to the human tendency to look for and favor the use of
information that is in confirmation of pre-existing beliefs and views on a particular topic.
Confirmation bias presents various issues for decision makers within the organizational context
with much of this relating to the quality and accuracy of decision making. The influence of
confirmation bias largely involves the making of flawed decision making (Bashir, 2013). As
much as conformation bias has an influence on decision making, there is limited literature that
focuses on this topic and how it contributes to irrationality within the industrial organization.
Such is evident from the fact that most organizations subscribe to the rational model of decision
making, yet rationality under the model is only conceivable when the opportunity or problem
lacks confirmation bias (Gatlin et al., 2017). The research that follows will analyze the influence
of confirmation bias in organizational decision making with a focus on optimism bias, attribution
error, anchoring, primary effect, and self-serving bias.