Constraining choice isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to managers’ problem-solving, according to a new Canadian study.

Managers tend to pick higher-risk options when forced to choose between competing alternatives to complex situations, according to researchers from the University of Guelph and University of Waterloo whose study was published recently in the Journal of Business Ethics.

But when they’re not forced to choose, managers tend to reflect more and solve problems with fewer negative consequences, says the study.

“One of the most powerful tools to combat high-risk or unethical decision-making may simply be offering managers the option not to choose,” said Theodore Noseworthy, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies. He conducted the study with colleague Prof. Scott Colwell and lead author Prof. Michael O. Wood of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development.
read more: http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2013/01/forcing_choice.html