Heuristics Journal Essay

Submitted By tmchristi828
Words: 826
Pages: 4

The availability heuristic is the bias that which could be referred to as a decision making bias of convenience (Bazerman, & Moore, 2009). When times of stress initiate the need for a decision to be made, it is easier to go with what is recallable in recent memories. The immediate availability of such data allows the decision maker to search short term memories to find data relevant to the decision to be made and quickly find a resolution to the problem. In today’s global business environment, decisions are often needed in a rapid fashion with a short response times. Today’s business is fast paced, and, in order for an organization to be competitive, decisions must be quick and accurate. The availability heuristic, while convenient, does not always provide with accurate facts with which a company should base important decisions. An example is the need of one company to hire a marketing firm to help promote the newest product coming out. The executive in charge of the decision instantly recalls a local marketing company and contacts the agency. He has never had any direct business dealings with this company, but simply remembers the name of the company and what the company specializes in. The company is available in the executives short term memory, but it is due to the number of incidences a particular company has had in which they were mentioned in the news media for breach of contract issues. If the executive had hired the company it could have been disastrous to his organization. In this situation, the availability heuristic could have led the executive into a bad decision. Being aware of the bias allows individuals to recognize those decision making tools that are present in our memories but to use them as a beginning to creating a list of alternatives available in order to make a decision. Listing this company that had been in the news, along with other companies available to do the job that was needed, would be a good starting point to researching all the available companies and narrowing down to the one best for the organization.
Biases affect organizations in both positive and negative ways when the biases are not accounted for in making decisions. A hospital in state was rated in the top three hospitals for their success in the removal of blocked arteries and stent placement. The hospital was small, but it was successful due to the employment of three physicians who were highly regarded in their field. These physicians were fairly young and had finished up their residencies in the same hospital before coming to work for this hospital. The hospital was banking on the doctors to continue the success rates they had achieved and marketing efforts were directed toward this area of expertise to the neglect of other areas in which the hospital excelled. Several heart related cases were referred to these doctors from all around the state but other departments were strained due to the loss of reallocated resources for the heart wing.
The unthinkable occurred as one of the doctors left the hospital to work in a larger arena, and the load was too much for the remaining two doctors to handle alone. When a third physician was hired to replace the departing doctor, the