An exploratory study on the presence of cognitive biases in project management decisions at a research institute / Um estudo exploratório sobre a presença de vieses cognitivos nas decisões de gestão de projetos em um instituto de pesquisa

Lecia Oliveira, Paulo Soares Figueiredo, Elisabeth Loiola, Camila Pereira-Guizzo


Most of the analytical models used in Operations Management assume that managers are fully rational or at least can be induced to behave rationally. In view of the need to investigate the influence of cognitive biases on the decision-making process of project managers, this exploratory study based on self-report aims to detect evidence of the presence of two types of biases in the decisions of a small sample of project managers at a Brazilian research institute: anchoring and overconfidence, and to derive hypotheses based on this evidence. This study shows only partial results and aims to contribute to the literature on behavioral operations, exploring behavioral and cognitive factors in project management, demonstrating how biases can deter managers from making optimal decisions. Subsequently, a follow-up study based on controlled experiments will be developed to test the hypotheses derived from the preliminary evidence presented here.


Behavioral Operations Management, Biases, Project Management, Anchoring, Overconfidence.

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