Consideration of the origin of Herbert Simon's theory of “satisficing” (1933‐1947)

Reva Brown (Oxford Brookes University Business School, Oxford, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 1 December 2004


Herbert Simon's major contribution to decision‐making theory is the concept of “satisficing”. This was first posited in Administrative Behavior, published in 1947, and the book, concerned as it was with establishing a scientific approach to administrative theory, puts forward an adjustment of then‐current economic theory, which viewed administrative choice as a process of maximising. While, over the ensuing decades, Simon adjusted his definitions of both “economic man” and of “satisficing” in several subsequent publications, the original exposition of these was a major contribution to the area of administrative theory. An attempt has been made here to explore what circumstances might have led Simon into putting forward the concept of “satisficing”.



Brown, R. (2004), "Consideration of the origin of Herbert Simon's theory of “satisficing” (1933‐1947)", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 10, pp. 1240-1256.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.