The Art of Decision Making

Combine rationality and intuition to achieve better decision-making processes

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Today’s business leaders are increasingly forced to make quick decisions. Good managers instinctively set out to make reasoned, well­thought­out judgment calls, yet a rational approach to tackling decisions is only one side of the story. Too often, too much emphasis is placed on intuition, and personal biases begin to influence – and fatally flaw – the decision­making process. Doubtless, this process should be complemented with sound analysis.

The Art of Decision Making (DMA) looks at both sides of the equation. Combining an international peer group and distinguished faculty, the program merges practical expe rience with up­to­date theoretical concepts. In addition to discussing case studies and participating in individual and group exercises, participants will explore and tackle common decision­making challenges.

The program is designed to help managers achieve greater insight and learn to exercise sound judgment by honing decision­making skills and designing more effective group processes. Participants will learn to avoid common decisionmaking mistakes by breaking problems into manageable parts, effectively analyzing information, considering alter natives, and identifying the objectives they need to achieve. Finally, they will gain a greater understanding of their own per sonal biases, how these affect the decisions they make, and how to prevent them from influencing future decisions.

The German language alternative program is “Die Kunst der Entscheidungsfindung” (ENT).


Target audience

Managers in all functions who are actively engaged in decision making during uncertainty and risk.


Key benefits

  • improve business performance by developing a deeper understanding of what drives effective versus ineffective decisions
  • learn to ask the right kinds of questions, use appropriate frameworks, and stop overanalyzing to avoid common decision traps
  • develop cooperative decision-making skills in situations where collaboration produces better results


Key topics

Making good decisions

  • Managing uncertainty
  • Evaluating alternatives
  • Valuing additional information

Understanding decision-making psychology

  • Identifying risk attitudes
  • Recognizing personal biases
  • Avoiding common pitfalls

Optimizing group processes

  • Combining individual knowledge and judgment
  • Steering and group dynamics
  • Implementing in the organizational context


“The faculty members were enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable, and the wide variety, backgrounds, and experiences of my fellow students added great value, too. All this set in beautiful surroundings with historical significance.”

Ruth Beadle, Senior Business & Development Analyst, Gazprom Marketing & Trading


Meet the teaching staff

Christoph Burger (Program Director)

is a senior lecturer at ESMT Berlin. He worked in industry at Otto Versand and as vice president at Bertelsmann Buch AG. He also worked at the consulting practice Arthur D. Little and as an independent consultant focusing on private equity financing of SMEs.

His research focuses on the areas of energy, innovation/blockchain, and decision making/negotiation.

Christoph studied business administration at the Uni versity of Saarbrücken (Germany) and the University of St.  Gallen (Switzerland) as well as economics at the Uni versity of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA).


Jens Weinmann

is a program director at ESMT Berlin. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a manager at the economic consultancy ESMT Competition Analysis.

Jens’ research focus lies in the analysis of decision making in regulation, competition policy, and innovation, with a special interest in energy and transport.

He received his PhD from London Business School in decision sciences.