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Probing the impact of cognitive heuristics on strategic decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from an emerging economy

Maqsood Ahmad (School of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Business, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Qiang Wu (School of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Business, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Muhammad Naveed (Department of Management Sciences, University of South Asia, Lahore, Pakistan)
Shoaib Ali (Air University School of Management, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 27 May 2022

Issue publication date: 25 August 2022

317

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore and clarify the mechanism by which cognitive heuristics influence strategic decision-making during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in an emerging economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was conducted through a survey completed by 213 top-level managers from firms located in the twin cities of Pakistan. A convenient, purposively sampling technique and snowball method were used for data collection. To examine the relationship between cognitive heuristics and strategic decision-making, hypotheses were tested by using correlation and regression analysis.

Findings

The article provides further insights into the relationship between cognitive heuristics and strategic decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that cognitive heuristics (under-confidence, self-attribution and disposition effect) have a markedly negative influence on the strategic decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic in an emerging economy.

Practical implications

The article encourages strategic decision-makers to avoid relying on cognitive heuristics or their feelings when making strategic decisions. It provides awareness and understanding of cognitive heuristics in strategic decision-making, which could be very useful for business actors such as managers and entire organizations. The findings of this study will help academicians, researchers and policymakers of emerging countries. Academicians can formulate new behavioural models that can depict the solutions to dealing with an uncertain situation like COVID-19. Policymakers and strategic decision-making teams can develop crisis management strategies based on concepts from behavioral strategy to better deal with similar circumstances in the future, such as COVID-19.

Originality/value

The paper’s novelty is that the authors have explored the mechanism by which cognitive heuristics influence strategic decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic in an emerging economy. It adds to the literature in strategic management, explicitly probing the impact of cognitive heuristics on strategic decision-making; this field is in its initial stage, even in developed countries, while little work has been done in emerging countries.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-10-2021-0636.

Keywords

Citation

Ahmad, M., Wu, Q., Naveed, M. and Ali, S. (2022), "Probing the impact of cognitive heuristics on strategic decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from an emerging economy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 49 No. 10, pp. 1532-1550. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-10-2021-0636

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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