The act of persuasion in strategic thinking.

What is strategic thinking?

Strategic thinking is the ability to come up with effective plans in line with an organization's objectives within a particular economic situation. Strategic thinking helps business managers review policy issues, perform long term planning, set goals and determine priorities, and identify potential risks and opportunities.

Stefan P. Penczynski's research about the effects of persuasion in strategic thinking and decision making has shown that two effects of persuasion can be identified in strategic thinking.

First, arguments that exhibit a relatively higher level of reasoning are more persuasive than lower level arguments. Decisions are more frequently revised in the direction of the partner’s proposal when more sophisticated arguments are received. For teams, this implies that the more sophisticated members have a larger influence on the team’s decision, rendering the team more sophisticated.

Second, being confronted with unexpected decisions of less sophisticated team members induces higher level players to revise their decision in the direction of their partners’ suggestion. This effect can be interpreted as an update of players’ beliefs about the behavior of their opponents.

The researcher's results show how individuals give up their initial decision when confronted with more sophisticated arguments and maintain their initial decision otherwise. Such a selection process is an important mechanism to improve decisions when arguments are pooled and team members are heterogeneous with respect to individual knowledge or strategic sophistication. While team decision making processes are certainly influenced positively and negatively by many factors, the researcher's experimental study illuminates how teams aggregate information and pool strategic sophistication to make better decisions.

(Article based on Stefan P. Penczynski's paper (research), entitled as "Persuasion: An experimental study of team decision making")

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