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Is gut instinct extinct? Roles and limitations of decision science in supporting business decision-making

by Dr. Surajit Ghosh Dastidar, Associate Professor & HOD – Marketing Faculty

Apr 30, 2021

In the present scenario, decision science is increasingly making its way into business decision making. Its objective is to control human error and bias. However, the question remains – while we can map the brain, can we map the mind of the market? Should decisions be based only on data crunching? 

There are major advantages of adopting decision sciences in an organization. It helps businesses make better decisions that are unbiased and data driven. It enables interpretations effective and thus ensuring efficient decisions from huge amounts of data. It also helps analyze the rational value of available alternatives and helps management zero-in on the optimal solution.

However, decision making is still not robotized and I think probably it will never be. While the big data technology and services market has grown at 23.1% per year in the last 4 years, I believe that use of intuitions, experience, risk taking tendency and other humane aspects will also remain. Situational, political, social, climatic and technological aspects are highly dynamic. So is the fickle emotion of shoppers. It’s difficult to trap these in a systematic model. For example, the relationship between the marketers’ inputs and consumers’ decision is not a simple linear model but a complex web of various antecedents and mediators interacting with each other. Such factors may be cognitive, situational, demographics, psychological etc. On the other hand, in case of routinized response behaviour, no cognitive input is involved. Such decision makings are not easy to understand and predict. It is also true in case of decision making based on heuristics and subliminal motives. This is the challenge of decision science.


— Dr. Surajit Ghosh Dastidar, Associate Professor & HOD – Marketing Faculty