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9 Examples of a Non-Decision

A non-decision, or nondecision, is a decision that is never made. This has several common variations:


Avoiding an unpleasant decision. Often motivated by basic pain avoidance. For example, a manager who avoids making a decision on whether to terminate an employee with low performance.


Sidelining is the practice of defeating challenges by simply ignoring them. For example, a manager whose strategy is challenged by their team who simply discards suggestions without any reasoned decision as to why.

Defense of the Status Quo

The status quo is the way that things have been in the past up to the present moment. This can be defended by simply deferring decisions regarding change. This is a variation of sidelining. For example, a firm that is challenged by investors, employees and customers to reduce their pollution that continually defers decisions to do so.


Decisions that can't be made due to inefficiencies such as political gridlock. For example, a situation where decision authority is unclear or is assigned to a group instead of a person.


A decision maker who overthinks a decision to the point that they fail to make the decision. For example, a manager who can't decide which candidate to hire for a position such that the position never gets filled.

Unknown Problems

A decision that should be made that goes unnoticed. For example, an IT team that doesn't notice that one of their software vendors has gone out of business such that their software has suddenly fallen out of support. This would normally trigger a decision to either phase out the software or to accept the risk of continuing to use the software.

Unnoticed Decision

A decision that is taken without noticing such as a distracted driver who takes the right fork in a road without noticing this decision.

Last Responsible Moment

Last responsible moment is the practice of deferring decisions until they truly need to be made. This often resembles a non-decision but is based on rational thought as delaying decisions often allows for discovery. For example, a student who doesn't commit to an academic major until they find a passion for something.

Do Nothing Strategy

A do nothing strategy is a decision to do nothing in a particular situation. For example, a farmer who decides they will do nothing about deer who are damaging their crops. A decision to do nothing is a decision nonetheless and shouldn't be confused with a nondecision.


In sociology, the term non-decision is used to imply sidelining.
Risk acceptance is often confused with inaction or indecision.
Overview: Non Decision
A decision that is never made often resulting in a default decision or continuation of the status quo.
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Decision Quality

This is the complete list of articles we have written about decision quality.
Abilene Paradox
Decision Costs
Decision Making
Decision Quality
Due Diligence
Moot Point
Non Decision
Sanity Check
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Decision Quality

The definition of decision quality with examples.

Abilene Paradox

The observation that groups may make collective decisions that are viewed as wrong or irrational by each individual member of the group.


An overview of overthinking.


A decision making technique that selects the first option that meets a minimum requirement.

Decision Framing

The definition of decision framing with examples.

Managerial Decisions

The common types of managerial decision with examples.

Decision Costs

An overview of decision costs with examples.

Personal Decisions

An overview of personal decisions with examples.

Decision Making Examples

Examples of business and personal decisions.

Sanity Check

An overview of sanity checks, a decision making and problem solving technique.

Preserving Ambiguity

Overview of preserving ambiguity.

Strategic Dominance

Strategic dominance is your best choice in a given situation.

Maximax Criterion

The definition of maximax with examples.


The definition of indecision with examples.

Group Decisions

A list of group decision strategies and techniques.

Normative Decision Making

The definition of normative decision making with examples.

Decision Examples

Examples of decisions made with different decision making approaches.
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