On importance assessment and expertise in non-routine decisions: an exploratory study on the cognition of the weighting process of capital goods' attributes

Johannes M.G. Heerkens, Beatrice van der Heijden

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Abstract

How do actors involved in the acquisition of capital goods assess the importance of their attributes? What is the role of expertise? Numerous instruments exist for measuring the importance attached to attributes, but little is known about the importance assessment process that precedes these importance judgments. Expectations concerning the behaviour of actors facing non-routine importance assessment problems are tested, yielding some interesting results. Firstly, the behaviour of these actors is consistent with a newly developed phase model. Even with a non-routine problem, structuring the assessment problem takes less effort than the actual weighting. Surprisingly, weighting attributes in isolation gets much more emphasis than weighting them against each other, despite the latter being the essence of importance judgments. Despite the subjects being laymen, they showed high confidence in their work. Finally, predictions concerning the behaviour of experts are made, based on Van der Heijden's dimensions of expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-398
Number of pages29
JournalInternational journal of management and decision making
Volume3
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Utility
  • Attribute weighting
  • IR-45289
  • Expertise
  • Decision theory
  • importance
  • METIS-211812

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