Strategic Thinking and Decision Making

Strategic Thinking and Decision Making

Varied Selections from my Column at

By Paul J.H. Schoemaker

This book covers a wide range of managerial problems that leaders may encounter in business, often in unexpected or incomplete ways. Varied essays depict complex situations that organisational leaders encountered and had to resolve. The leadership challenge is to develop meta-skills for thinking strategically about them and then make sound business decisions.

EPUB, 200 Pages


December 2024

£19.99, $25.00

PDF, 200 Pages


December 2024

£19.99, $25.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

This book contains fifteen chapters organised thematically around key themes but in a non-cumulative way. This means readers can randomly sample topics and sections of the book or dive into a single essay covering one specific issue in more detail (such as biases, mistakes, foresight, talent or teams). Either way, readers can assess if they agree with the approaches I offer or favour different perspectives. If the latter, they may wish to discuss the issues with some colleagues informally during a break or use it more formally to co-invest in team building and raising the group’s strategic IQ.

Sampling the collected sub-sections and chapters (whether in small bites or as one read-through) will help managers refine their own approaches to strategic thinking and leadership. Also, it may help align them better with colleagues or partners who come from different backgrounds, functional responsibilities or cultural orientations. It will soon become apparent to readers that my overall approach to business problems is very much behavioural. This means that I start an essay by identifying important management problems in a realistic business setting. Before offering any conceptual perspectives or prescriptive advice, we need to better understand the behavioural context of any problem.

This varied case approach seeks to provide practical insights, tips or even full solutions, but not until the essence of the problem and its broader organisational and cultural contexts are sufficiently understood. Offering prescriptions without first getting well-grounded behavioural descriptions tend to result in failed interventions. Normative advice that is drawn from text books rather than real slices of life often amount to boxing with shadows on the wall rather than the real issues. As such, this book aims to illustrate for managers and leaders how to frame thorny management issues by (i) clearly defining a distinct business problem, (ii) viewing it through multiple lenses and (iii) creatively exploring pragmatic solutions.


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Author Information

Paul Schoemaker was research director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School, where he also taught strategy and decision making.   He also served for over a decade as the faculty of the University of Chicago’s graduate school of business. He also founded and ran Decision Strategies International, published 12 books and over 125 articles.


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