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Behaviourial Finance And Corporate Risk Taking

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel prize economist has talked extensively about Behaviourial Finance and how it affects decisions making by Individuals and Companies. Here is a snippet from his famous book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Richard Thaler, Behaviourial Finance professor at University of Chicago tells of a discussion about a decision making he had with Top 25 managers in a corporation. He asked them about a risky proposition that had equal probability that they could lose a large amount of capital or earn double that amount. None of the managers were willing to take the gamble as it was deemed too risky for their own careers. However when CEO was asked about the 25 projects, he was more than willing to consider all the projects for the entire corporation as double gains in successful projects outweighed the losses in these 25 bets (projects).

"Each of our executives is loss averse in his or her domain. That's perfectly natural, but the result is that the organization is not taking enough risk"

Source: Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow.