Keywords

bounded rationality; mental model; action; uncertainty; preference

Location

Session H8: New Challenges for Agricultural Systems Modeling and Software

Start Date

17-6-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

17-6-2014 3:20 PM

Description

Farmers, in their role as production managers, have to make daily management decisions about the technical operations to be performed on the biophysical components of their farms. These decisions have important implications in terms of the sustainability of the farm business and deserve in-depth examination with a scientific approach. The traditional decision research paradigm assumes an idealized decision situation in which the farm manager knows all the relevant alternatives, their consequences and probabilities, and has fixed preferences and possesses the cognitive capacity to efficiently process them. Many studies have shown that the farmer's decision-making context does not meet these assumptions. We propose that our understanding of the decision made could be increased by focusing on the natural strategies used by farmers. We present some preliminary thoughts about the issues to be addressed, in particular, the various key notions such as objective, preference, uncertainty, anticipation and rationality. Particular attention is given to the heuristics that farmers use to: (i) select the relevant information to be taken into account; and (ii) simplify the decision process and make it easily tractable. We argue that a bounded rationality approach is required to examine in situ individual management behavior, explain performance differences between farmers and help identify possible improvements.

 
Jun 17th, 2:00 PM Jun 17th, 3:20 PM

Investigating Operational Decision-Making in Agriculture

Session H8: New Challenges for Agricultural Systems Modeling and Software

Farmers, in their role as production managers, have to make daily management decisions about the technical operations to be performed on the biophysical components of their farms. These decisions have important implications in terms of the sustainability of the farm business and deserve in-depth examination with a scientific approach. The traditional decision research paradigm assumes an idealized decision situation in which the farm manager knows all the relevant alternatives, their consequences and probabilities, and has fixed preferences and possesses the cognitive capacity to efficiently process them. Many studies have shown that the farmer's decision-making context does not meet these assumptions. We propose that our understanding of the decision made could be increased by focusing on the natural strategies used by farmers. We present some preliminary thoughts about the issues to be addressed, in particular, the various key notions such as objective, preference, uncertainty, anticipation and rationality. Particular attention is given to the heuristics that farmers use to: (i) select the relevant information to be taken into account; and (ii) simplify the decision process and make it easily tractable. We argue that a bounded rationality approach is required to examine in situ individual management behavior, explain performance differences between farmers and help identify possible improvements.