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The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior$
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Stephen M. Colarelli and Richard D. Arvey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226127156

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226127293.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Evolved Decision Makers in Organizations

Evolved Decision Makers in Organizations

(p.203) Nine Evolved Decision Makers in Organizations
The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior

Peter DeScioli

Robert Kurzban

Peter M. Todd

University of Chicago Press

Managers and leaders in organizations commonly use incentives to influence people's behavior. However, people are much more than simple incentive-chasers, they are computational problem solvers. Here we review evidence about the representations, heuristics, and strategies that the human mind uses to comprehend the environment and guide behavior. These psychological mechanisms include heuristics for choosing among options, search algorithms, altruism, group cooperation, and cognitive models of social relationships such as family, friends, authority, and trade relationships. We highlight how these psychological mechanisms cause people both to pursue and, critically, to resist incentives devised by managers. With a better understanding of the human mind's toolkit, managers can modify the organizational environment to trigger particular psychological systems that cause behavior in line with the goals of the organization.

Keywords:   evolutionary psychology, bounded rationality, heuristics, adaptive toolbox, economic games, coordination, relational models, friendship

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