Ethical Decision Quality: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Organizational Decision-Making 

A Public Lecture by Professor Ali Abbas

8 June 2023 at 16:00 - 17:00 (Finnish time)
Otakaari 1, Aalto University Hall M1, Espoo (also remotely here:  
Systems Analysis Laboratory
Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
Aalto University School of Science



This talk first demonstrates numerous examples of situations where business organizations and government agencies did the right thing in terms of gathering information or conducting some analyses, but then ended up making bad decisions. By examining a sequence of decisions from publicly available sources in business and government enterprises, the talk characterizes 11 elements to be considered when making "Good" organizational decisions. We refer to those elements as the Elements of Ethical Decision Quality. The talk then presents specific examples of decisions where the Elements of Ethical Decision Quality created value by either improving the quality of the decisions or by providing awareness to policymakers about the implications of the current decision-making process. These examples include work with the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and NASA.  


Dr. Ali E. Abbas is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of multiple awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation for his work on decision analysis, risk analysis, multiattribute utility theory, and data-based decision-making. He is widely published in books, journals, and conference publications, and has shared his expertise through television appearances, TEDx and other invited talks. Dr. Abbas is author and co-author of numerous books including “Foundations of Multiattribute Utility” by Cambridge University Press, “Foundations of Decision Analysis” with Ronald A. Howard, and the forthcoming book "Ethical Decision-Quality: Building an Ethical Decision Culture". Dr Abbas has also edited numerous books including “Next Generation Ethics and Decision Making” by Cambridge University Press and  “Improving Homeland Security Decisions” with Detlof von Winterfeldt. Dr. Abbas is an associate editor and editor for a wide range of journals including Operations Research, Decision Analysis,  Decision, and Entropy. Dr. Abbas regularly teaches courses on decision analysis to graduate students, and has taught numerous executive education courses at a variety of business institutions and government agencies. Dr. Abbas is founder, president, and CEO of Ahoona Corp, a decision making social network that has several thousand users around the world. 



This event will be arranged in Otakaari 1, Aalto University Hall M1, Espoo and is open to all interested participants. The lecture will last about 45 minutes, followed by questions and discussions. The event can also be attended remotely on Zoom here: Zoom quick guide:

At 12:15 (Finnish time) on 9 June 2023, Prof. Abbas will be the official opponent in the public defence of Juho Roponen's Doctoral Dissertation entitled Computational Models for Adversarial Risk Analysis and Probabilistic Scenario PlanningThe defence will be held in Lecture Hall H304 (Otakaari 1).

Aalto Systems Forum

The growing challenge of our time is the need to understand and to manage wholes, i.e. systems. Problems in technology, economy, organisations and the environment are strongly interconnected, include multiple criteria and evolve dynamically over time. Systems Sciences as a field of scientific inquiry develops tools and approaches which help address these problems.

Aalto Systems Forum provides a platform for a dialogue between practitioners and researchers, based on major research results and accompanying insights which are presented by leading international scholars.

Aalto Systems Forum is organized by the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis of Aalto University School of Science