Decision Making: Rational Comprehensive, Incremental, and Mixed Scanning Theories

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Decision making software Pages: 2 (570 words) Published: July 25, 2014
“A policy decision involves action by some official person or body to adopt, modify, or reject a preferred policy alternative.” (Anderson, 125) Usually this is the result of many decisions during the policy process. Individuals and organizations also participate in making policy decisions but the final authorities who partake making the policy decisions are formal authorities’ also known as public officials like: executives, legislators and administrative judges. The decisions made by such authorities are ruminated as legitimate as long as the authorities meet the procedural and substantive standards. Within this decision making process there are theories that are the quantitative models of such like: the rational comprehensive theory, the incremental theory and the mixed scanning. The rational-comprehensive theory obtains views of the economists as well as other people like mathematicians, psychologists and other social scientists. (Anderson, 126) The rational-comprehensive theory includes six elements: (1) The decision maker is confronted with a problem that can be separated from other problems or at least considered meaningfully in comparison, (2) the goals, values, or objectives that guide the decision-maker are known and can be clarified and ranked according to their importance, (3) the various alternatives for dealing with the problem are examined, (4) the consequences (costs and benefits, advantages) that would follow from selecting each alternative are investigated, (5) each alternative, and its attendant consequences, is then compared with the other alternatives, and (6) the decision-maker will choose the alternative, and its consequences, that maximizes attainment of his or her goals, values, or objectives. (Anderson, 127) The incremental theory involves limited changes or supplementing policies sometimes referring it as “disjointed incrementalism” wherein the “(1) selection of goals or objectives and the empirical analysis of the...

References: Anderson, James E., Public Policymaking, Seventh Edition, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011
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