Group decision making in a prototype engineering system : the Federal Open Market Committee
Author(s)Lawson, Christopher M. (Christopher Michael)
Exploration of group decision making in engineering systems : data, models, and lateral alignment
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Chris Magee, Whitman Richards, Joel Moses and Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld.
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All ES evolve as the result of stakeholder decisions and decision processes that affect their design and operation. These decision making problems often involve many stakeholders, each of whom have a say in the outcome. This has been termed a lateral alignment problem, as opposed to a unitary decision making problem. Lateral alignment focuses on group decision making where stakeholders are nominally organizationally independent, interact to maximize their own goals and simultaneously a common goal, and who are able to influence decision outcomes to varying degrees through power and influence. Previous work in the relevant literatures has focused on two variants used to assess and model group decision making. Type 0 Group Decision problems involve anonymous voting, where stakeholders do not interact. Type 1 Group Decision problems involve non-cooperative interaction where stakeholders try to maximize their self-interest through negotiation. We define the lateral alignment problem as a Type 2 Group Decision problem, which involve elements of both non-cooperative and cooperative behavior. Type 2 Group Decisions have not been fully treated in the existing literatures. In this thesis, we evaluate a prototype Type 2 Group Decisions: the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) from 1970-1994 as a test case. One major advantage of studying the FOMC is the availability of data and relevant analytical published work. Our original empirical findings include: 1. Information ambiguity is the major factor that impacts coalition dynamics, via the number of starting bids, in FOMC decision making. 2. Deliberation time is directly determined by information ambiguity and the relationship is the same across chairmen eras. 3. Decision efficacy falls off gradually as information ambiguity increases.(cont.) 4. Members whose past views are best reflected as correct in hindsight appear to build up reputation and have greater influence on decision outcomes. We also develop an agent based model (ABM) to study the FOMC. As we show, the ABM is very effective at predicting observables of the FOMC decision making process. These observables are: 1. Membership in the Winning Coalition. 2. Number of Bargaining Rounds. 3. Decision Outcomes. 4. The Number of Starting Bids. In chapter 6 we discuss issues of generalizing the findings of this to other ES. Our sample includes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), SEMATECH, and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS).
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, June 2008."May 26, 2008."Includes bibliographical references (p. 152-156).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.