Decision-making between genders; an analysis of risk assessment in a simulated business context.
(2016) Decision-making between genders; an analysis of risk assessment in a simulated business context., no. 310.
This research explores the area of gender differences in decision-making; specifically risk taking and how individual levels of confidence may influence these variables. The aim of this study is to distinguish if male and female business students assess risk differently in a finance related business context scenario and whether the heuristics and biases of overconfidence and availability are more prevalent for which gender. As much of the current and past literature has focused on individual gender differences in decision-making, this study takes a group-focused approach to explore whether the same identified gender differences persist. To attain a comparative analysis, the researcher created a simulative business game in which six teams were divided into three categories of gender determined teams. The purpose was to examine if individual perceptions and beliefs of risk taking, decision-making and confidence levels change with the gender balance of a team and if the heuristics of overconfidence and availability emerge throughout a team's decision-making process. The findings of this research broadly support the available literature; male dominant teams seem to take more risk than female dominant teams, gender dominance may have influenced all mixed gender teams, the heuristic of overconfidence may have affected men more and the heuristic of availability may have emerged in all gender dominant teams. This study identifies several areas for future research: • Cognitive dissonance between genders emerged and this duality could have an impact upon decision-making. • Further study of decision-making is warranted as some of the literature appears archaic given that society and business continues to evolve. • Continuing research on heuristics and biases, between men and women, should be considered and a longitudinal study of gender decision-making within an actual organisation would help correlate these indicative findings.