Main Content

The Behavioural Issue (Spring 2017)

10th Anniversary Issue

At its core, every organization is in the same business: changing behaviour. Behavioural Science shows that humans are myopic and impulsive; we are heavily influenced by other people and by the status quo; and emotion, context and loss-aversion — amongst other things — guide our decisions. In this issue, we seek to expand your understanding of behavioural insights and how they can be applied to achieve your organization’s goals.

Preview this Issue

Feature Articles From this Issue

Feature articles from Rotman Management magazine can be purchased individually as PDF documents. 
Click on any title to proceed to the purchase page at


Behaviour Biases

Persona Project

Policy By Design
  • Policy by Design: The Dawn of Behaviourally-Informed Government
    by Dilip Soman, Katie Chen and Neil Bendle
    From Canada to Australia, Denmark to Singapore, governments are embracing insights from Behavioural Economics to improve the lives of their citizens by embracing 'Choice Architecture'. Find out how to test different 'nudges' with your own users, providing an outlet to review the status quo and improve your interactions with the public.
Challenge Ahead
  • Managing the Machines: The Challenge Ahead
    by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb
    When looking to assess the impact of radical technological change, the key question to ask is, What is this reducing the cost of? Only then can you determine what might really change. In the case of Artificial Intelligence, the answer to ‘what is this reducing the cost of?’ is prediction. Take a glimpse into the future and find out how this is posing a slew of challenges for managers and employees alike.
Option Awareness
  • Consider This: Option Awareness and the Psychology of What We Consider
    by Anuj Shah and Jens Ludwig
    The standard economic view suggests that people will commit to a particular action—such as losing weight, buying your product or quitting smoking—only if the expected benefits will outweigh the costs. But the authors show that this model is incomplete in an important way: It overlooks how possible actions come to mind in the first place. They show that, if we can understand what leads people to consider a particular action, we can also design interventions that lead them to think of different possibilities.
Value Investing
  • Value Investing, Human Behaviour and Why You Should Ignore the Market
    by Eric Kirzner, Charles Brandes and Kim Shannon
    Do you consider yourself a ‘contrarian’—someone who regularly disagrees with your peers and colleagues?Perhaps you should consider a career in Value Investing. Eric Kirzner interviews two of North America's leading value investors-Charles Brandes and Kim Shannon-about the current value investing environment, the concept of ‘market efficiency’, and how some things-like human behavior-never change.
  • Feedback: The Broken Loop in Higher Education – and How to Fix It
    by Mihnea Moldoveanu and Maja Djikic
    When we want to learn a new skill in life, we try out a new behaviour. Some behaviours fulfill their intended purpose; others do not. Feedback—signals from the environment that tell us whether or not the behaviour we produced had the intended effect—is essential to adapting or modifying human behaviour. That's what learning is all about! So why is it that, in higher education, feedback is spotty, ill-timed or utterly missing? The authors—who head up the Self-Development Lab at the University of Toronto—show what can be done about it.
Customer Insight
  • How to Turn Customer Insight into Growth
    by C. Barton, L. Koslow, R. Dahr, S. Chadwick, M. Reeves and F. Lang
    Consumer-facing companies in developed economies have experienced little to no growth since the recession of 2008. As a result, the smartest of the bunch are now increasingly looking outwards, trying to spur growth by turning to new sources of customer insight—including three types of data: 'implicit' data such as biometrics; 'structured' batches of Big Data, such as online behaviour; and 'unstructured' data, such as social media and call centre conversations. They provide advice for re-wiring the customer insight function in your organization.
World Nudge
  • Changing the World, One Nudge at a Time
    by David Halpern
    At its core, every organization is in the same business: changing peoples' behaviour. Do you want your customers to do something specific? Then follow the golden rule: Make it easy! The head of the UK's Behavioural Insights Unit- recognized as the world's most advanced practitioner in this arena-shows that governments are slowly embracing this proven principle; and other organizations should, too!
Dueling With Desire
  • Dueling with Desire: How to Confront Want/Should Conflict
    by T.B. Bitterly, R. Mislavsky, H. Dai and K. L. Milkman
    In our daily lives, we all face a tension between what we want to do (i.e. what we desire) and what we know we should do. Dinner with friends sounds great; but you know you should work on that report you promised a colleague. The authors summarize the key findings on this perennial 'want/should conflict' and discuss a series of interventions that organizations and individuals alike can use to promote more future-oriented, should choices.
Ethical Behaviour
  • How to Increase Ethical Behaviour in Organizations
    by Ting Zhang, Pinar Fletcher, Francesca Gino and Max Bazerman
    By embracing a vigilant mindset as a 'default state' and employing four tools-including 'asking lots of questions' and 'attending to artful dodges'-managers in any industry can develop a keen ability to notice unethical behaviour. The authors show that this is a critical step towards reducing both 'bounded ethicality' and 'bounded awareness' in today's organizations.


Magazine Order PRINT
Bing Han
Aric Almquist
Interviews and Ideas

Free Articles Spring 2017

Magazine Order PRINT