© 2011

Extendable Rationality

Understanding Decision Making in Organizations


Part of the Organizational Change and Innovation book series (OCI, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. The Limited Cognition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Davide Secchi
      Pages 1-6
  3. The Limited Cognition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Davide Secchi
      Pages 9-18
    3. Davide Secchi
      Pages 19-25
    4. Davide Secchi
      Pages 27-39
    5. Davide Secchi
      Pages 41-59
  4. The Extended Brain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Davide Secchi
      Pages 63-79
    3. Davide Secchi
      Pages 81-95
    4. Davide Secchi
      Pages 97-111
    5. Davide Secchi
      Pages 113-133
    6. Davide Secchi
      Pages 135-145
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 147-161

About this book


“How do people make decisions in organizations?” is the question at the core of this book. Do people act rationally? Under what conditions can information and knowledge be shared to improve decision making? Davide Secchi applies concepts and theories from cognitive science, organizational behavior, and social psychology to explore the dynamics of decision making. In particular, he integrates “bounded rationality” (people are only partly rational; they have (a) limited computational capabilities and (b) limited access to information) and “distributed cognition” (knowledge is not confined to an individual, but is distributed across the members of a group) to build upon the pioneering work of Herbert Simon (1916-2001) on rational decision making and contribute fresh insights. This book is divided into two parts. The first part (Chapters 2 to 5) explores how recent studies on biases, prospect theory, heuristics, and emotions provide the so-called “map” of bounded rationality. The second part (Chapter 6 to 8) presents the idea of extendable rationality. In this section, Secchi identifies the limitations of bounded rationality and focuses more heavily on socially-based decision processes and the role of “docility” in teaching, managing, and executing decisions in organizations. The practical implications extend broadly to issues relating to change and innovation, as organizations adapt to evolving market conditions, implementing new systems, and effectively managing limited resources. The final chapter outlines an agenda for future research to help understand the decision making characteristics and capabilities of an organization.


Behavioral Science Bounded Rationality Cognitive Science Decision Making Distributed Cognition Docility Organizational Behavior Organizational Sociology Performance Management Rationality Social Psychology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., Department of ManagementUniversity of Wisconsin-La CrosseLa CrosseUSA

About the authors

Davide Secchi, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His research interests include “distributed cognition” and its implications for management; human cognition and decision making; and social responsibility. He received his masters degrees (in venture finance and international finance) and his doctorate from the University of Pavia in Italy, and holds a BS from the University of Cagliari. He presents frequently at conferences and has published widely in scholarly journals and edited volumes, including the Journal of Business Ethics (Springer).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Extendable Rationality
  • Book Subtitle Understanding Decision Making in Organizations
  • Authors Davide Secchi
  • Series Title Organizational Change and Innovation
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics Business and Management (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4419-7541-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4614-2717-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4419-7542-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 161
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Organization
    Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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