Research the Internet and available textbooks for rational decision making models. Discuss your findings in terms of the models you found versus the model offered by Bazerman and Moore on pp 2-3 of your text
Rational decision making is a fundamental aspect of human behavior, especially in organizational contexts. Several decision-making models have been proposed in the literature to explain and guide the process of making rational choices. These models provide a structured approach for individuals and organizations to identify, evaluate, and select the most suitable course of action.
One widely recognized model is the Rational Decision Making Model (RDMM) proposed by Bazerman and Moore. This model, described on pages 2-3 of the textbook, outlines a systematic sequence of steps involved in making rational decisions. According to Bazerman and Moore, the RDMM consists of six stages: problem identification, identification of decision criteria, allocation of weights to criteria, development of alternatives, evaluation of alternatives, and selection of the best alternative. This model emphasizes the importance of gathering and analyzing relevant information, considering multiple perspectives, and systematically assessing the pros and cons of various alternatives before making a final decision.
Upon researching the topic, I found several other decision-making models that share similarities with Bazerman and Moore’s RDMM, but also offer unique perspectives and additional steps. One such model is the Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision Model (VYJDM), developed by Victor Vroom, Philip Yetton, and Arthur Jago. The VYJDM focuses on the level of participation and involvement of subordinates in the decision-making process. It suggests that the appropriate decision-making style depends on the specific decision, the leader’s knowledge and expertise, and the characteristics of the situation. This model consists of seven decision-making styles, ranging from autocratic (decisions made solely by the leader) to democratic (decisions made by the majority).
Another noteworthy model is the Garbage Can Model (GCM) of decision making, introduced by Michael Cohen, James March, and Johan Olsen. Unlike the RDMM and VYJDM, the GCM challenges the assumption of a rational decision-making process by emphasizing the role of ambiguity, uncertainty, and organizational dynamics in decision making. The GCM portrays decision-making as a messy and complex process, where problems, solutions, and participants are ill-defined and often in flux. In this model, decisions are seen as a result of chance rather than rational thinking, as organizational actors “dump” their problems and solutions into a metaphorical “garbage can,” and decisions are made when opportunities arise. This model highlights the importance of considering the context in which decisions are made and the influence of organizational politics, power dynamics, and serendipity.
Furthermore, the Incremental Decision Making Model (IDMM) puts forward a different approach to decision making. Proposed by Charles E. Lindblom, this model asserts that decision making is often characterized by incremental adjustments and gradual changes instead of a discrete and comprehensive evaluation of alternatives. The IDMM suggests that decision makers typically focus on the existing policy or course of action, making modest changes and adjustments over time. This model recognizes bounded rationality, the limited capacity to gather all relevant information and analyze it thoroughly, as a key constraint in decision making.
In comparing these models to Bazerman and Moore’s RDMM, it is evident that each model offers a unique perspective on decision making. While the RDMM provides a clear and structured sequence of steps, emphasizing the importance of information gathering and evaluation, the other models offer alternative viewpoints and consider various contextual factors that influence decision making. The VYJDM emphasizes the role of participation and the leader-subordinate relationship, while the GCM highlights the messy and unpredictable nature of decision making. The IDMM, on the other hand, recognizes the incremental nature of decisions and the boundaries of rationality.
Overall, the different decision-making models discussed present varying approaches to rational decision making. While the RDMM provided by Bazerman and Moore offers a comprehensive and structured framework for decision making, the other models provide valuable perspectives that consider additional factors such as participation, ambiguity, context, and incremental changes.