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The University of Southampton

MANG6134 Risk Taking and Decision Making

Module Overview

The ability to make effective decisions in the face of risk and uncertainty is essential to success in today’s fast changing world. This module seeks to equip you with the knowledge of decision-making processes and models that will help you achieve this objective. The module will take a inter-disciplinary approach and will emphasise that a mix of both qualitative and quantitative thinking, within a structured decision analysis framework, is needed to significantly improve risk taking behaviour. Throughout the module behavioural aspects of risk will be emphasised.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the central role of decision making and risk taking in effective management;
  • the relative strengths of decision models and be able to apply them in a systematic manner;
  • the importance and relative advantages of both objective and subjective information.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the relative strengths of a variety of decision making techniques;
  • analyse decision problems using a systematic and inter-disciplinary approach and justify this approach;
  • apply appropriate decision making models in order to select optimal strategies in situations involving uncertainty;
  • communicate issues and difficulties of applying decision models;
  • identify, characterise and reduce the impact of biases in decision-making caused by heuristics;
  • generate appropriate subjective probability estimates.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • be aware of the factors that must be considered in order to make effective decisions.


• The nature of decision-making and decision modelling • Structuring a decision • Decision models to handle uncertainty • Decision models to handle risk • Risk attitude and utility • Individual differences in risk taking • Group risk taking • Subjective judgments, heuristics and biases • Subjective probability elicitation • The role and value of information in improving decisions • Decision making in a competitive environment

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught via a series of 2 hour lectures. These will be interactive sessions, you will be expected to engage via a series of class and group-based exercises, providing you with the opportunity of practising the techniques introduced. Performance in these tasks will also provide a form of formative feedback to help you know your areas of strength and weakness on the module materials. You will be expected to read the core text and practice examples provided in this text. In addition, you will be provided with a workbook, which will provide a summary of the lecture material and will contain a number of exercises for you to attempt. This will help you practice the techniques discussed in lectures. Solutions to these exercises will be provided to enable you to identify areas of the module in which you are strong and those where you need to undertake more study. You will be provided with a list of articles and chapters from text books to read for each topic studied on the module. Students will be provided with a list of articles and chapters from text books to read for each topic studied on the module.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

P. Goodwin & G. Wright (2014). Decision Analysis for Management Judgement. 

A. Kelly (2016). Decision Making using Game Theory: An Introduction for Managers. 

M. Bazerman, D. A. Moore (2016). Judgement in Managerial Decision Making. 



Class Exercise


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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