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Project managers and decision making: Conditional cognitive switching and rationally stepping up

Nowińska, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-1914-5544 & Pedersen, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-7541-9365 (2024). Project managers and decision making: Conditional cognitive switching and rationally stepping up. Long Range Planning, 57(1), article number 102414. doi: 10.1016/j.lrp.2024.102414


Decision makers switch between analytical-rational and intuitive-experiential approaches to decision making, a phenomenon termed “cognitive gear switching.” Such switching is crucial for decision making in any organization. However, how decision makers switch between the intuitive-experiential and analytical-rational approaches, the interplay between these approaches and contextual factors remains poorly understood. We study this in the context of decisions made in ongoing product-development projects, where we distinguish between the decision-making behavior of project managers and other project members. We show that project managers are more likely to switch decision-making approaches when faced with project uncertainty and, in such cases, to favor the analytical-rational approach. As such, we define project managers as “conditional cognitive switchers” and the strategy used as “rationally stepping up.”

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher Keywords: Decision-making approach, Switching, Dual-process theory, Project manager
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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