For the reader who elects to go into the decision analysis subject matter in greater depth, excellent texts exist:
Quick Analysis for Busy Decision Makers¹ by Robert Behn and James Vaupel (Basic Books Inc., 1982), is an excellent guide on how to think about personal and business decisions. The authors use several examples and provide an excellent jargon-free introduction to decision analysis and how to use it in real life decision-making. Decision Analysis for the Manager* by R. V. Brown, A. S. Kahr, and C. R. Peterson (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1974) is an up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of decision analysis and its applications. Replete with examples of applications of decision analysis in business contexts, the text is fairly easy reading with only very elementary mathematics used.
A good current introduction and reference book for the various techniques used in Decision Analysis is Making Harder Decisions: An Introduction to Decision Analysis by Robert T. Clemen (Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1990). A non-mathematical treatment of decision analysis can be found in Analysis of Decisions Under Uncertainty* by Robert Schlaiffer (McGraw-Hill, 1969). Schlaiffer’s book develops all the key ideas of decision analysis logically and intuitively without recourse to the mathematical underpinnings. A much shorter and readily comprehensible treatment of decision analysis is to be found to Dennis Lindley’s book, Making Decisions (Wiley, 1973). For the readers desiring a varied motivational approach to the subject matter, Howard Raiffa has prepared an excellent self-instructional program that uses lectures, discussions, readings, examples, and exercises. Presented in the form of audio cassettes and supporting printed materials, the course entitled Analysis for Decision Making: An Audio-graphic, Self-Instructional Course, is available from the Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation.
Howard Raiffa’s book, Decision Analysis: Introductory Lectures on Choices Under Uncertainty (Addison-Wesley, 1968), was the first comprehensive treatment of the theory and application of decision analysis. Somewhat more mathematical than the Brown, Kahr, Peterson book, Raiffa’s text is still an excellent introduction to the subject matter.
A more formal treatment of decision analysis appears in Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Models and Choices* by Charles A. Holloway (Prentice Hall, 1979). This text is primarily aimed at MBA students. It incorporates a conceptual approach with sound analytical foundation and can be appropriate for readers with some background in statistics and probabilities.
A collection of papers on decision analysis methodology and application are included in Concepts and Applications of Modern Decision Models,* edited by V.M.R. Tummala and R. C. Henshaw (Michigan State University, 1976). A book length treatise on decision analysis, Decision Analysis for Petroleum Exploration* by P. D. Newendrop (Petroleum Publishing Co., 1975), is an excellent handbook for the application of decision analysis to the often complex decisions under uncertainty in the petroleum industry.
* Books out of print. Check with your library.
¹ A reprint can be purchased through Litigation Risk Management Institute for $20. Call 650.854.1914