Extendable Rationality

Understanding Decision Making in Organizations

  • Davide Secchi
Part of the Organizational Change and Innovation book series (OCI, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. The Limited Cognition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
  3. Introduction

    1. Davide Secchi
      Pages 1-6
  4. The Limited Cognition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Davide Secchi
      Pages 9-18
    3. Davide Secchi
      Pages 19-25
    4. Davide Secchi
      Pages 27-39
    5. Davide Secchi
      Pages 41-59
  5. The Extended Brain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Davide Secchi
      Pages 63-79
    3. Davide Secchi
      Pages 81-95
    4. Davide Secchi
      Pages 97-111
    5. Davide Secchi
      Pages 113-133
    6. Davide Secchi
      Pages 135-145
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 147-161

About this book


“How do people make decisions in organizations?” is the question at the core of this book. Do people act rationally? Under what conditions can information and knowledge be shared to improve decision making? Davide Secchi applies concepts and theories from cognitive science, organizational behavior, and social psychology to explore the dynamics of decision making. In particular, he integrates “bounded rationality” (people are only partly rational; they have (a) limited computational capabilities and (b) limited access to information) and “distributed cognition” (knowledge is not confined to an individual, but is distributed across the members of a group) to build upon the pioneering work of Herbert Simon (1916-2001) on rational decision making and contribute fresh insights. This book is divided into two parts. The first part (Chapters 2 to 5) explores how recent studies on biases, prospect theory, heuristics, and emotions provide the so-called “map” of bounded rationality. The second part (Chapter 6 to 8) presents the idea of extendable rationality. In this section, Secchi identifies the limitations of bounded rationality and focuses more heavily on socially-based decision processes and the role of “docility” in teaching, managing, and executing decisions in organizations. The practical implications extend broadly to issues relating to change and innovation, as organizations adapt to evolving market conditions, implementing new systems, and effectively managing limited resources. The final chapter outlines an agenda for future research to help understand the decision making characteristics and capabilities of an organization.


Behavioral Science Bounded Rationality Cognitive Science Decision Making Distributed Cognition Docility Organizational Behavior Organizational Sociology Performance Management Rationality Social Psychology

Authors and affiliations

  • Davide Secchi
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of ManagementUniversity of Wisconsin-La CrosseLa CrosseUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7542-3
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4419-7541-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-7542-3