Bending the Law of Unintended Consequences

A Test-Drive Method for Critical Decision-Making in Organizations

  • Richard M. Adler

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Richard M. Adler
    Pages 1-12
  3. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 15-29
    3. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 31-40
    4. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 41-62
    5. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 63-77
  4. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-80
    2. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 81-94
    3. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 107-126
    4. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 127-149
  5. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 151-152
    2. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 153-171
    3. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 173-189
    4. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 191-213
    5. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 215-237
  6. Part IV

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 239-240
    2. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 241-252
    3. Richard M. Adler
      Pages 253-259
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 261-304

About this book


This title provides managers, executives and other professionals with an innovative method for critical decision-making. The book explains the reasons for decision failures using the Law of Unintended Consequences. This account draws on the work of sociologist Robert K. Merton, psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, and economist Herbert Simon to identify two primary causes⁠: cognitive biases and bounded rationality. It introduces an innovative method for “test driving” decisions that addresses both causes by combining scenario planning and “what-if” simulations. This method enables professionals to learn safely from virtual mistakes rather than real ones. It also provides four sample test drives of realistic critical decisions as well as two instructional videos to illustrate this new method. This book provides leaders and their support teams with important new tools for analyzing and refining complex decisions that are critical to organizational well-being and survival.


Critical Decision-making Decision Analysis decision strategy decision science Law of Unintended Consequences Robert K. Merton Amos Tversky Daniel Kahneman Herbert Simon Psychology of Critical Decision Making Decision Test-Drives Decision Lifecycle DecisionPath Rational Decision Making Modeling and Simulating Critical Decisions ForeTell Software Modeling Transformational Change

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard M. Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.DecisionPathWinchesterUSA

Bibliographic information

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