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Harvard Business School

Behavioral Economics: Understanding and Shaping Customer and Employee Behavior

What Is Behavioral Economics?
Oct 6—11
6 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 13000
USD 2166 per day

How it works


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Bestselling books such as Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational and Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow have opened the world's eyes to the quirky and error-prone ways in which people make important decisions. Building on the insights of those scholars and many others in the field of behavioral economics, this program shows how leaders can apply those ideas to influence the behavior of customers and employees. As a participant in the program, you will acquire a dynamic framework for understanding and leveraging behavioral economics to improve decision-making across your organization.

What You Can Expect

Forward-thinking companies apply the principles of behavioral economics to shape the behavior of customers and employees. Behavioral economics provides fundamental insights into how people think and how changes in decision-making environments impact their choices. By capitalizing on these insights—and understanding how to rigorously test your ideas for improving outcomes—you can help your company successfully engage customers, increase employee responsiveness, and gain competitive advantage for the long term.

After completing this program, you will be better able to:

  • Recognize the psychology underlying the decisions of your customers and employees
  • Develop products and services that create value for your customers by taking account of the subtle, oft-misunderstood forces driving their choices
  • Improve organizational performance by using "choice architecture" to alter the context in which employees make decisions
  • Become your organization's go-to problem solver by developing a user-oriented and outcome-driven mindset that applies across external-facing and internal-facing business processes
  • Deploy practical behavioral insights to improve key decisions made by managers in your organization
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your ideas for using behavioral economics to improve business outcomes

Your Course of Study

Behavioral Economics: Understanding and Shaping Customer and Employee Behavior presents a powerful framework for analyzing and influencing the actions of other people. To help you master every facet of the behavioral economics mindset, this immersive, weeklong program systematically addresses the following topics:

Understanding Decision Science

  • Learn how psychological biases and problems of motivation get in the way of wise decisions
  • Examine how group dynamics can sometimes mitigate or exacerbate the counterproductive effects of psychological biases
  • Explore the limits of humans' ability to pay attention to the right information at the right time

Shaping the Behavior of Customers and Employees

  • Improve your ability to diagnose the features of different choice contexts that act as barriers to successful decision-making
  • Learn how to shape the decision-making environment of customers and employees so that their actions align with your organizational goals

Applying Behavioral Economics in Your Organization

  • Delve into your organization's specific behavioral challenges—and develop solutions—in dedicated breakout sessions
  • Develop the skills and mindset of a "choice architect" to build scalable approaches to influencing the behavior of other organizational stakeholders
  • Emerge with a roadmap for incorporating behavioral economics into your work to become a more effective leader and bigger contributor to your organization's success

Who should attend

This program is designed for executives from mid- to large-size companies with at least 10 years of experience, and who lead and drive decisions for functional areas such as product development, human resources, talent management, advertising, marketing, business development, and sales. It is also well suited for individuals who oversee risk management, product design, or product management.

This program meets the needs of individuals or teams. When multiple executives from one company attend, the management team can more quickly take advantage of shared concepts and frameworks to implement strategies, disseminate best practices, and help drive meaningful change throughout the organization.


Francesca Gino is the Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She is also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, with the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard, an...
Max H. Bazerman is Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Max''s research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, o...
Leslie John is an associate professor of business administration in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets unit. She teaches the Negotiations course in the MBA elective curriculum, as well as in various Executive Education courses. In the past, she has taught the core Marketing course in...
Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and a member of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English from Williams College and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University. Prior to joini...
John Beshears is the Terrie F. and Bradley M. Bloom Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit, teaching the second-year MBA course "Managing, Organizing & Motivating for Value." He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bure...
David Laibson is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University. He leads Harvard Universityʼs Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative. Laibsonʼs research focuses on the topic of behavioral economics, with emphasis on household fin...
Lee J. Styslinger III Associate Professor of Business Administration Michael Luca is Lee J. Styslinger III Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Luca works closely with companies and cities to help them become more data-driven, and has ongoing colla...
Academic Area: Marketing Teaching / Research Interests Behavioral Economics Bio Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He does research in behavioral economics on the irr...

Next dates

Oct 6—11
6 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 13000
USD 2166 per day

How it works

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