The Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies 2023
Unbounded respect: fair assessment of decision makers’ competence
‘We can err in two directions when we judge how competent people are as decision makers. If we overestimate their confidence then we leave people exposed in situations that may warrant support, regulation or paternalistic interventions. If we underestimate people's confidence we can lead to undermining respect for people and as a whole and deprive them of the right to make autonomous decisions.’
From teenagers to medical patients, people are often left out of decisions that concern them because they are assumed not to be competent enough to manage their own affairs. And academics and other experts too are apt to underestimate the competence of those who do not share their own (narrow) knowledge and expertise – which can lead to failures in collaboration.
Professor Baruch Fischhoff continues his series of Clarendon Lectures in Management with the question, ‘How do we render fair judgment of others’ abilities and performance, given the foci and focal lengths of our disciplinary lenses?’