The Influence of Cognitive Bias Attributes on Decision-making Style of the Project Manager: The Moderating Role of Narcissistic and Voice Behaviour

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This thesis investigates the influence of cognitive bias attributes (CBA) on the decision-making (DM) style of project managers (PJM): the moderating role of narcissistic behaviour (NB) and voice behaviour (VB) in Information Technology Software Development (ITSD) projects in Dubai. The research classified sources of bias under two families: (1) perception and behavioural bias, (2) belief and probability estimation bias; these families consist of six groups that contain 21 sources of bias. The research followed a positivism philosophy using a deductive approach based on a quantitative analysis methodology and a survey instrument strategy to collect data; 381 responses were collected through an electronic survey. The study used confirmatory factor analysis to validate the constructive validity of the variables, Cronbach’s alpha to test the reliability of the variables, a pilot study conducted prior to survey distribution and multiple regression analysis through IBM SPSS statistics version 20 to test research hypotheses. The results indicated that: 1) CBA influences the decision-making style of project managers, 2) the relationship between CBA and the experiential decision-making style of the project manager is significant, whereas the rational decision-making style of the project managers is less affected by CBA, 3) using the experiential style to make a decision under uncertain events has a relatively negative influence on the success of projects as it is connected to CBA, 4) using the rational style to make a decision under uncertain events has a relatively positive influence on the success of the projects as it is less connected to CBA, 5) voice behaviour negatively moderates the relationship between cognitive bias and the decision-making style of project managers; however, the relationship was weak, and 6) NB does not moderate the relationship between CBA and the DM style. The researcher developed a de-biasing DM model which can be used to mitigate the influence of the biased decisions. The study enriched the body of knowledge of the CBA through extensively exploring various sources of bias and their impact on the DM process; and expands on the knowledge of the DM styles provided by CEST by exploring the negative influence posed by CBA. The study imparts elaborate information about the role of project managers’ NB and VB in the context of PM and provides a model that will help mitigate the risk of CBA on the decision-making process. The thesis recommends testing the group and social bias family, effect, and memory bias family in future research.
cognitive bias, decision-making, narcissistic behaviour, voice behaviour, project manager