Surrey University Stag


Module code: MAN3118

Module Overview

This module will introduce the students to the contemporary theories, research and practices of judgement and decision making. The core aims of the module are to enable students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes that influence choice and behaviour, and to better understand how judgements and decisions can shape organisational life and the world we live in. This module will draw upon material from a wide range of disciplines that include social psychology, cognitive psychology, organisational behaviour and managerial cognition, and will cover topics such as intuitive decision making, expert judgement, and risk taking behaviour. The students will be encouraged to examine how the characteristics of the decision-maker and the immediate environment can help or hinder judgements and decisions, and to develop an informed understanding of the ability of individuals, including themselves, to make good decisions. A key feature of this module will be the emphasis placed upon helping students to recognise and discuss the relationship between theoretical perspectives and organisational practices.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: N210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • What is Decision Making?
    Introduction to the contemporary theories and practices of effective decision making, with an overview to some psychological aspects of decision making within the management context, such as Behavioural Decision Theory.

  • Rationality and Bounded Rationality in Decision Making 
    This lecture is concerned with the Rational approaches to decision making such as the Expected Utility Theory, based on a set of assumptions that prescribe how a decision should be made rather than describing how it is made. The Bounded Rationality model suggests that human beings have limited capacity for rational thinking.

  • Judgement and Heuristics in Decision Making
    This lecture discusses relevant literature within the decision making context and examines judgement and heuristics, i.e. the short-cuts in thinking, and errors and biases in judgement.

  • Expert Decision Making 
    Contrary to the previous two models, this one proposes that individuals make decisions through a process in which they recognise the situation as similar to a previous experience, i.e. learning from experience. The primary focus of this lecture is the Recognition-primed Decision Making model.

  • Intuitive Decision Making
    This lecture explores the cognitive aspects of decision making, particularly the role of intuitive judgement in decision making. Intuitions can be a source of judgement for decision making to better tackle decision problems that are hard to solve analytically, for lack of time, data, computational ability, or too much information.

  • Entrepreneurial Decision Making and Creativity
    This lecture looks at managerial decision making in the context of entrepreneurship and the related areas of creativity and innovation. The discussion focuses on relevant theories, research, case examples, and potential scenarios. The focus on decision making extends to entrepreneurial thought and action as they particularly feature in relation to business and corporations.

  • Group Decision Making 
    Decisions in organisations are almost never made by only one individual. Generally a group of individuals would contribute to decision making. This lecture covers themes such as group dynamics; individual differences; conflict management; working styles within a group. It also looks at the concepts of leadership, power and authority.

  • Strategic Decision Making
    Decisions at strategic level are hard to make, and involve risk and uncertainty. This lecture is designed to explore how to enhance decision capabilities and risk analysis when confronted with strategic choices, both in conditions where there is sufficient time to conduct analyses and when there is only time to choose intuitively.

  • Making Judgements and Decisions About the Future
    Drawing from the previous weeks’ models and theories, this lecture is concerned with judgemental forecasting, developing decision thinking skills and improving the quality of one’s own judgements and decisions, with a particular focus on scenario planning.

  • Decision Making Workshop x 2
    These workshops will provide case studies and scenarios from the business world whereby the students will have the opportunity to work in groups to generate solutions and make decisions based on the theoretical models introduced in this module.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical perspectives of decision making to real life organisational practices through undertaking an assignment and an exam.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • The assignment requires critical analysis of a question relating to issues around a personal experience of decision making and judgement.
    The assignment contributes 40% towards the module mark, and requires students to research and identify the practical implications of key theories and findings; and to demonstrate their critical thinking skills and the articulation of complex ideas in writing.

  • The exam contributes towards 60% of the overall module mark. The exam at the end of the semester will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the module concepts by requiring them to relate the theoretical concepts to real-world situations and events. This is intended to ensure that students are able to apply the concepts of judgement and decision making in different organisational contexts.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will be given formative feedback in lectures through a variety of interactive activities including small group work. These will involve discussions with students and review of lecture content to check their level of understanding and provide feedback. Additionally, two workshops will be delivered: first one mid-way through the semester and second one at the final lecture of the semester, aimed at helping students to prepare for the assignment and the exam.

Module aims

  • To provide an understanding of key theoretical frameworks in organisational behaviour, more specifically in judgement and decision making
  • To encourage an awareness and critical thinking of the differing perspectives in the field to evaluate managerial decisions and actions
  • To give students the opportunity to develop key skills in decision making
  • To enable students to appreciate the challenges involved in the decision making behaviour in organisational practices

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories of judgement and decision making and major research findings. KC
2 Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to organisational problems and practices, and identify practical solutions and implications. KPT
3 Recognise the role of individual characteristics and the environment in making good decisions. CP
4 Show the ability to think critically and creatively about the ways in which judgement and decision making shape organisations. KCPT
5 Critically evaluate and discuss factors and processes that influence choice and impact on behaviour in organisational life. KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy:

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to promote learning from lectures, group discussions and interactive sessions, as well as from individual reading and research. Participation in interactive sessions and group discussions is an important part of the learning strategy. Students are held responsible for their own learning process; the lectures provide perspectives on the course content, thus giving an opportunity for students to engage with the course material in greater depth in and out of class.

The learning and teaching methods:

The teaching and learning methods include the use of two-hour lectures to illustrate the theory, followed sequentially by one-hour interactive session (which may usually be blended in the three-hour lecture slot), which will demonstrate the practical application of such theory. Lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations and additional resources will be made available in SurreyLearn.

Total student learning time is as follows:





Interactive sessions


Directed learning


Self-directed learning




Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MAN3118

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Management (HRM) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Dual degree with SII-DUFE) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and French BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and Spanish BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business and Retail Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.