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Rational Decision Making Model

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Autor:  reviewessays  02 December 2010
Tags:  Rational,  Decision,  Making
Words: 1686   |   Pages: 7
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The Rational Model


According to the School of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, the Rational Model of decision-making, “requires comprehensive problem definition, an exhaustive search for alternatives, and thorough data collection and analysis. According to this model, information exchange and communication are unbiased, and accurate decision alternatives are intentionally chosen to bring maximum benefits to the individual, organization or group” (2003, p. 3). Essentially, the Rational Model requires people to have a clear understanding of the actual problem. Unless the issue is clearly established, the Rational Model can be ineffective. This model also incorporates extensive research, so that all options or alternatives can be brought before the decision-maker(s).

The Rational Model is a step-by-step decision-making model. Depending on the source of definition for the Rational Model, it consists of anywhere from four to nine steps that must be taken to reach a comprehensive, educated and effective solution. Basically, the Rational Model can be broken down into four basic steps, which can be further diluted to create the additional three to five steps.

Step 1 – Define the Problem

The first step of the Rational Model is to define the problem. As stated in the definition, in order for the Rational Model to be effective, the problem or issue needs to be clearly understood. It is imperative to truly understand to source of a problem, not just the symptoms. The MBA program at the University of Houston Victoria provides this example, “if a member of your staff is impolite to a client on the phone, the problem may not be that your staff member is impolite--it may be that he needs customer service training, or that he is having difficulty coping with the stress that his professional responsibilities involve” (2005). Essentially, the virus needs to be treated, not the cough it causes.


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