Heuristics as adaptive decision strategies in management

  • Artinger F
  • Petersen M
  • Gigerenzer G
 et al. 
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© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. In the management literature, heuristics are often conceived of as a source of systematic error, whereas logic and statistics are regarded as the sine qua non of good decision making. Yet, this view can be incorrect for decisions made under uncertainty, as opposed to risk. Research on fast and frugal heuristics shows that simple heuristics can be successful in complex, uncertain environments and also when and why this is the case. This article describes the conceptual framework of heuristics as adaptive decision strategies and connects it with the managerial literature. We review five classes of heuristics, analyze their common building blocks, and show how these are applied in managerial decision making. We conclude by highlighting some prominent opportunities for future research in the field. In the uncertain world of management, simple heuristics can lead to better and faster decisions than complex statistical procedures.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptive decision making
  • Decision strategies
  • Ecological rationality
  • Heuristics
  • Management
  • adaptive decision making
  • and managerial economics assume
  • cision maker does not
  • de-
  • decision strategies
  • ecological rationality
  • fi ning characteristic of
  • heuristics
  • know all possible options
  • management
  • managerial decision making
  • models that dominate management
  • operations research
  • probabilities
  • science
  • situations in which a
  • the term refers to
  • this knowledge
  • uncertainty is a de
  • with their consequences and
  • yet the rational choice

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  • Florian M. Artinger

  • Malte Petersen

  • Gerd Gigerenzer

  • Jürgen Weibler

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