Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. The Art of Decision Making

Decisions are guided by processes and influenced by organizational culture, biases, reason, emotion, experience and memories, benefits and costs, and context. Decisions are also affected the type of decision (emergent activity or established practice), degree of collaboration required, role clarity, the urgency, completeness and quality of data, and availability of resources. State DOTs make many decisions in many different contexts. As our work becomes more multimodal and multidisciplinary, the complexity of decision making is increasing. As we seek to provide equity, we need to review our decision-making practices for systemic bias. New practices are often evaluated using decision models designed for operational activities. We are also at the precipice of using more automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence and need to understand the types of decisions that are best suited for these practices. The goal of this project is to identify factors and frameworks that support different types of decisions, common pitfalls in decision-making, and strategies for successful and sustainable decisions. It is anticipated that this may include systems thinking, common cognitive biases, decision roles, and practices such as recognition-primed decision making, the Cynefin model, and more. The objective of this project is to identify and review decision-making models for their potential to improve the fit with the type of decision being made and the desired outcomes. This includes supporting decision quality, reducing rework, supporting transparency and equity, promoting sustainable outcomes, and providing timely support for changes in business strategies.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(141)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    5304 Flanders Drive, Suite A
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70808
  • Project Managers:

    Hartell, Ann

  • Start Date: 20220609
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01779286
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(141)
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2021 3:23PM