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Barnard's model of decision making: a historical predecessor of image theory

Milorad M. Novicevic (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Russell W. Clayton (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Wallace A. Williams (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chester Barnard's decisional model utilizing the lens of image theory. The main claim is that the individual decision‐making model proposed by Barnard in his Notes on the Significance of Decisive Behavior can be evaluated within the framework of image theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper performed a comparative analysis of Barnard's and image theory's models of decision making to outline congruence and incongruence between Barnard's early conceptualization of individual decision making and the contemporary understanding of image theory.

Findings

The findings provide support to the claim that image theory is an appropriate framework to describe Barnard's model.

Originality/value

The unique contribution of this study is that it provides the first theoretical analysis of Barnard's model of individual decision making. Barnard's model of individual decision making is little known because it was posthumously published in his Notes on the Significance of Decisive Behavior 35 years after Barnard's death.

Keywords

Citation

Novicevic, M.M., Clayton, R.W. and Williams, W.A. (2011), "Barnard's model of decision making: a historical predecessor of image theory", Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 420-434. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511341111164427

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited