Background article is included in this description.


Many business failures can be attributed to faulty decision making on the part of leaders of major stakeholders. By analyzing these failures, we can learn something about what caused them and, perhaps, avoid similar fiascos in the future. In the following article from the Wall Street Journal, business analyst Paul Ingrassia takes a look at the roles of the leaders in the UAW and GM in the demise of Saturn.

Read the following article, and in a 2-page paper, answer the following questions:

How did the UAW and GM contribute to the failure of Saturn?

What implicit assumptions (heuristics) were their leaders relying on that influenced their actions?

Propose a plan by which the leaders of the UAW and GM could be coaxed into better decision making by defusing the power of these heuristics.


Ingrassia, P. (2009). Saturn couldn’t escape GM’s dysfunctional orbit: Union leaders hated the flexible work rules and eventually got rid of them. The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 9, 2009.

The following reading is optional, but it provides additional information on heuristics to supplement that found in the background readings, and may be useful in supporting your answer.

Anissimov, M. (2004) A Concise Introduction to Heuristics and Biases. Retrieved from

Assignment Expectations

Draw on the background materials in discussing heuristics and techniques that can be used to overcome them.

If a heuristic would not be addressed by any of the techniques, suggest another way decisions can be managed to reduce the chances of that heuristic impairing the decision-making process.