Chapter 5

Study of Risk Factors in Competitive Intelligence Decision Making: A Cognitive Approach1

5.1. Decision making and decision problems

5.1.1. Introduction

Decision making is a process undertaken by a person, a group of people, several groups, or a company. It is a “living” process: any form of decision making has consequences that determine the success or failure of other actions [WAN 04]. This process may be simple (personal decisions) or complex (decisions involving large organizations or governments); the weight attached to these decisions, expressed in the form of a risk, varies in the same way. Human knowledge is enriched through experience and reasoning capacities that allow us to bring order to a mass of available information. In this context, it is imperative that the decisions resulting from this process be controlled [ONI 08a]. The capacity for decision, which we might call “decisionability”, is determined by numerous factors including judgment, experience and, in particular, cognitive capacities. As decisions are taken based on information, the mode and methods used to obtain this information are as important as the decision itself [TOD 00, RED 98]. Our perception of the world is limited by the lack of a suitable lexicon, by imprecision, and by the incompleteness of the “measurements” we carry out [SIV 07]. The formulation and implementation of the decision process has a significant impact on the result of the decision; this can be linked to the cognitive capacities ...

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