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The Nature of Critical Decision-Making

Keith (M.A. Military History)
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(331)
Decision making is one of the most essential skills that a leader must possess. In this class, we will look at how leaders can improve their ability to make high-stakes decisions in organizations.

Class experience

  • Students will learn the nature of decision-making under time pressure and high-stakes Students will learn about the essence of making a decision in positions of leadership Students will encounter many case studies of decision-making Students will learn about ways they can improve their decision-making
I am a certified (7-12) Social Studies teacher and have taught a variety of honors level courses (AS/A Level, KS3, GCSE, I.B. and A.P.) in both private and public schools over the past 30 years. Historical writing, source analysis, and exam preparation as well as an immersive approach to the study of history has made my classes both meaningful and enjoyable. My tutoring experience has spanned the entire 21st century with ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, A.P. Histories, and Subject Tests. My MA in Military History focused upon military decision-making during high-risk, time dependent situations. 
This class is designed to explore the process of decision-making using many historical case studies as well as practical examples. 
Allison, G. T. The Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. 
Amason, A. C. “Distinguishing the Effects of Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict on Strategic Decision Making.” Academy of Management Journal 39 (1996): 123–148.
Ambrose, S. The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D.
Eisenhower. New York: Doubleday, 1970. 
Bazerman, M. Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998. 
Benner, P. From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley, 1984. 
Bourgeois, L. J., and K. Eisenhardt. “Strategic Decision Processes in
High Velocity Environments: Four Cases in the Microcomputer Industry.”
Management Science 34, no. 7 (1988): 816–835.
Bower, J. Managing the Resource Allocation Process. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1970. 
Boynton, A., and B. Fischer. Virtuoso Teams: Lessons from Teams That
Changed Their Worlds. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times Press, 2005. 
Clark, M., with A. Joyner. The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a
Company with Heart. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. This book, by the founder and CEO of Build-A-Bear, 
Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Columbia Accident Investigation
Board Report. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2003. 
Dekker, S. Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability. Aldershof, UK: Ashgate, 2007. 
Drucker, P. F. The Practice of Management. New York: Harper, 1954. 
Edmondson, A. “Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work
Teams.” Administrative Science Quarterly 44 (1999): 354.
Gavetti, G., D. Levinthal, and J. Rivkin. “Strategy-Making in Novel and Complex Worlds: The Power of Analogy.” Strategic Management Journal 26 (2005): 691–712.
Gerstner, L., Jr. Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic
Turnaround. New York: Harper Business, 2002. 
Janis, I. Victims of Groupthink. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. (Janis articulates his theory of groupthink in this classic book with fascinating case studies about the Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Pearl Harbor.)
Johnson, R. T. Managing the White House. New York: Harper Row, 1974.
Kahneman, D., and A. Tversky. Choices, Values, and Frames. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 
Kelley, T. The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s
Leading Design Firm. New York: Doubleday, 2001.  115
Kennedy, R. F. Thirteen Days. New York: W. W. Norton, 1969. This book provides a riveting firsthand account of the Cuban missile crisis.
Kim, W. C., and R. Mauborgne. “Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy.” Harvard Business Review 75, no. 4 (1997): 65–75.
Klein, G. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. 
Knight, C. Performance without Compromise: How Emerson Consistently
Achieves Winning Results. Boston: HBS Press, 2005. 
Krakauer, J. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. New York: Anchor Books, 1997. 
Lind, A., and T. Tyler. The Social Psychology of Procedural Justice. New York: Plenum Press, 1988. Lind and Tyler extend the work of Thibault and Walker in this book.
Nadler, D., J. Spencer, and associates, Delta Consulting Group. Leading
Executive Teams. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998. 
Schlesinger, A., Jr. A Thousand Days. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
Schweiger, D. M., W. R. Sandberg, and J. W. Ragan. “Group Approaches for Improving Strategic Decision Making.” Academy of Management Journal 29 (1986): 51–71.
Snook, S. A. Friendly Fire: The Accidental Shootdown of U.S. Black Hawks
over Northern Iraq. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000. 
Starbuck, W., and M. Farjoun, eds. Organization at the Limit: Lessons from the Columbia Disaster. London: Blackwell, 2005. 
Stasser, G., and W. Titus. “Pooling of Unshared Information in Group
Decision Making: Biased Information Sampling During Discussion.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48 (1985): 1467–1478.
Staw, B. M. “Knee Deep in the Big Muddy: A Study of Escalating Commitment to a Chosen Course of Action.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 16 (1976): 27–44.
Staw, B. M., and H. Hoang. “Sunk Costs in the NBA: Why Draft Order Affects Playing Time and Survival in Professional Basketball.” Administrative Science Quarterly 40 (1995): 474–494.
Staw, B. M., L. Sandelands, and J. Dutton. “Threat-Rigidity Effects on Organizational Behavior.” Administrative Science Quarterly 26 (1981): 501–524.
Steiner, I. Group Process and Productivity. New York: Academic Press, 1972. 
Surowiecki, J. The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. 
Tapscott, D., and A. Williams. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. New York: Penguin, 2006. 
Thibault, J., and L. Walker. Procedural Justice: A Psychological Analysis.
Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1975. 
Turner, B. Man-Made Disasters. London: Wykeham, 1978. 
Ury, W. Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation. New York: Bantam Books, 1993. 
Useem, M. The Leadership Moment: Nine Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All. New York: Times Business, 1998. 
Wohlstetter, R. Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1962. 
Joined September, 2020
Teacher expertise and credentials
Bachelor's Degree in Education
Master's Degree in History
Bachelor's Degree in History
Over the past 30 years I have taught I.G.C.S.E, A-Level, I.B., and A.P. History throughout the Atlantic region in both private and public school settings. During that time I have instructed students in a variety of rigorous exam subjects . I am a... 
Group Class


weekly or $450 for 20 classes
1x per week, 20 weeks
60 min

Completed by 4 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 13-18
3-15 learners per class

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