Beyond Rationality in Organizations’ Choices: Exploring the Dark and the Bright Sides of Non-rational Decision-making


Decision-making process of organizational agents is central in influencing processes and performance of organizations. In this vein, since the emergence of the disrupting concept of bounded rationality (Simon, 1947), scholarly interest moved towards understanding the deviations of the human mind from logical and rational choice paths (Cristofaro, 2017). This resulted in an enlarging of the spectrum of factors shaping decision making, leading future scholarship to unpack the ‘non-rational decision making’, i.e., influenced by conscious or unconscious forces that get cognition astray from being logically consistent (e.g., Paniccia, 2000; Paniccia, Pechlaner, and Valeri, 2010; Barile, Saviano, Caputo, 2018). However, despite the significant interest in better understanding the non-rational forces driving the decision-making processes of organizational agents (Abatecola, 2014), important areas still remain largely unexplored especially in complex systems (Paniccia, 2002; Barile, Eletti, Matteuzzi, 2013; Cafferata, 2022). As such, this Special Issue focuses on the investigation of the non-rational forces shaping decision making processes, such as dark personality traits (Spain et al., 2014), mental disorders (Wiklund et al., 2020), beliefs (Jackson and Artola, 1997), spirituality/religion (Fernando and Jackson, 2006), superstition (Tsang, 2004), meaningful coincidences (Cristofaro, 2021), atmospheres (Julmi, 2017) – apart from the ones that received more interest, such as intuition (Dane and Pratt, 2007; Julmi, 2019; Loia and Adinolfi, 2021) and affective states (Bachkirov, 2015; Fodor, Curşeu, and Fleştea, 2016; Cristofaro, 2019; 2020).

List of topic areas:

  • Do non-rational forces (e.g., intuition, dark personality traits, mental disorders, beliefs, spirituality/religion, affective states, atmospheres, superstition) increase or reduce the quality of decision-making outputs?
  • Do non-rational forces foster/reduce cognitive biases while making strategic decisions?
  • How to non-rational forces shape the quality of the decision-making process in organizational teams?
  • How do non-rational forces expand from the individual to the collective level?
  • How could artificial intelligence approaches be combined with the non-rational forces in the decision-making process?
  • Does intuition increase or reduce the quality of decision-making outputs in complex environments?
  • What are the effects of mixed emotions on decision-making processes within organizations?
  • How should we integrate synchronicity/meaningful coincidences into the existing prescriptive models of decision-making?
  • Can superstition or meaningful coincidences be a self-nudge for improving reflections on risky decisions?
  • Can superstition or meaningful coincidences be used to mangers' own advantage in collective decision making?
  • To what extent do shared atmospheres affect decision-making behavior and acceptance?
  • How do emotional and cognitive spirituality influence executives' decisions?
  • How do the philosophies, theologies and practices of different spiritual and/or religious traditions affect decision-making in organizations?
  • How do the philosophies and practices from different traditions in non-Western contexts, such as folk and/or indigenous communities, influence decision-making in organizations?
  • How do the normative commitments associated with spirituality and/or religion, such as love, humility, truth, feature in organizational decision-making processes?  
  • How do organizations integrate (or otherwise) these kinds of approaches to decision-making in collective, organizational contexts?      
  • How does moral self-licensing affect organizational decision-making?
  • How does the post-truth environment affect organizational decision-making?
  • How does the cancel culture mentality affect organizational decision-making?
  • How does playing the political correctness game affect organizational decision-making?

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