The Ayrshire-born businessman told delegates at The Herald-sponsored Inspiring City Awards last night that decisions on Scotland's future should not be made emotionally.
Sir Tom said: "The debate to date has been more akin to a children's playground fight.
"The Chamber of Commerce and indeed The Herald have an incredibly important role to play in that debate, to inform it, to shape it, to let your members and the population at large truly understand the meaning of independence for them or indeed the outcome of staying in the UK.
"At present we are heading towards taking decisions based on emotion and having let my heart rule my head in business once ... it's a very bad place to be."
At the ceremony, Sir Tom was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award.
In an earlier version of this story, we said Sir Tom had previously voiced support for a Yes vote in next year's referendum. In fact, he has simply called for an informed debate.