A feedback learning and mental models perspective on strategic decision making

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This study aims to be a contribution to a theoretical model that explains the effectiveness of the learning and decision-making processes by means of a feedback and mental models perspective. With appropriate mental models, managers should be able to improve their capacity to deal with dynamically complex contexts, in order to achieve long-term success. We present a set of hypotheses about the influence of feedback information and systems thinking facilitation on mental models and management performance. We explore, under controlled conditions, the role of mental models in terms of structure and behaviour. A test based on a simulation experiment with a system dynamics model was performed. Three out of the four hypotheses were confirmed. Causal diagramming positively influences mental model structure similarity, mental model structure similarity positively influences mental model behaviour similarity, and mental model behaviour similarity positively influences the quality of the decision.

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