Individual goals and social preferences in operational decisions: Behavioural insights from transport planning

Nienke Hofstra, Wout Dullaert, Sander De Leeuw, Eirini Spiliotopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



The purpose of this paper is to develop propositions explaining the influence of individual goals and social preferences on human decision making in transport planning. The aim is to understand which individual goals and social preferences planners pursue and how these influence planners’ decisions.


Propositions are developed based on investigation of decision making of transport planners in a Dutch logistics service provider using multiple data collection methods.


The study shows how decision making of transport planners is motivated by individual goals as well as social preferences for reciprocity and group identity.

Research limitations/implications

Further research including transaction data analysis is needed to triangulate findings and to strengthen conclusions. Propositions are developed to be tested in future research.

Practical implications

Results suggest that efforts to guide planners in their decision making should go beyond traditional (monetary) incentives and consider their individual goals and social preferences. Moreover, this study provides insight into why transport planners deviate from desired behaviour.


While individual decision making plays an essential role in operational planning, the factors influencing how individuals make operational planning decisions are not fully understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-137
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019



  • Decision making
  • Social Preferences
  • Transport planning
  • behavioral operations
  • case study

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