Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies

Decision making and risk - the inevitability of mistakes

Associate Professor Fred Lazar,

25th Jul 2013  10:30 am - Lecture Theatre 1, Level 1, St James Campus, 173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney CBD


All decisions are forward looking and hence require guesses/assumptions about the future values of a host of variables. Herein lies the essence of risk in decision making. Strategic decisions are all about moving your company from A to B. But what does A, the current position, look like? And why choose B as the destination? Further, is B a stop along the way to C? Or is B the ultimate destination? If the latter, do you re-evaluate once you get to B, assuming you ever do, and choose your next destination and move at that time? Usually, there are multiple paths between A and B. Each path creates/destroys options; each path depends on numerous factors; each path involves one or more key investment decisions. Hence, how do you select the "right" path and the associated investments?Analysis is important, but so too is intuition. And mistakes are inevitable. Thus, do you have a back-up plan and how do you decide when to transition to the back-up plan?


Fred Lazar received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is Associate Professor of Economics at the Schulich School of Business, York University (Toronto). His primary research interests include air transportation, strategy, governance, incentives and compensation, and First Nations economic development. He regularly advises governments and companies around the world.