Paul Nutt, author of Why Decisions Fail, studied 400 decisions made by senior executives in medium and large businesses. Decisions studied include Disney’s EuroDisney failure, various components of the Denver International Airport construction, etc.
Nutt’s research found that fully half of the decisions had failed. A decision “failure” was defined as a decision that either was not implemented or a decision that was not still in effect two years after it had been made.
Professor Nutt found that the primary reason for decision failure is that decision makers make a premature commitment. They “latch-on” to the first solution, the quick fix, and that many of the buying process activities occurring after that are actually only efforts to justify their ready-made solution. Decision makers become anchored by the first information they observe and give it more weight than information that arrives later on.