Decision Making with Inaccurate, Unreliable Data

John Mezias, William H. Starbuck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article reviews some evidence that decision makers often rely on inaccurate or unreliable data. The article also points out ways decision makers react when they realize their data are inaccurate or unreliable. Lastly, it examines some options for coping more effectively with inaccurate, unreliable data. Business and political journalists generally interview people who have participated in decision making. The participants explain their goals, situations faced, and the logic behind their decisions. Likewise, research about decision making and sensemaking usually assumes managers are aware of and understand their organizations and their organizations' environments. Some studies obtain almost all of their data about decision inputs and premises from the decision makers. Other studies correlate data about firms' actions with managers' perceptions of their organizations or business environments. However, almost no research has examined the accuracy of such perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577338
ISBN (Print)9780199290468
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009


  • Business environments
  • Decision making
  • Inaccurate data
  • Managers' perceptions
  • Sensemaking
  • Unreliable data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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