Doctoral thesis

An analysis of decision-making under the conditions of direct competition

  • 2022

PhD: Università della Svizzera italiana

English In this dissertation, I explore the consequences of the direct competition that organizations engage in and the underlying behavioral mechanisms that guide the decision-making processes. The main attempt is directed towards demonstrating one of the possible ways of achieving harmony in the explanation of the decision-making processes under competitive conditions characterized by risks and uncertainty. Specifically, I focus on the links between management literature and psychology literature. The Behavioral Theory of the Firm has its roots in the psychological literature on levels of aspiration, and all three papers in the dissertation describe how psychological concepts help to discover potentially novel effects of direct competition on the actors. Generally, the competitive context is examined from two different angles: on the one hand, the broader picture is investigated where there is an overall competition in which actors have to engage in direct competition against each individual opponent in order to eventually win. This tournament-like perspective can be translated into the different effects of operational decision-making compared to more long-term strategic decision-making. On the other hand, a more detailed and isolated analysis of the participants in the direct competition helps uncover the effects of the specific processes that represent the underpinnings of competitive decision-making. I use data from Formula 1 racing and the Counter-Strike video game to test the theoretical arguments of the studies.
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