Rational Decision Making Model Essay

1682 Words Jul 28th, 2005 7 Pages
What is a decision? The word decision can be defined as, "the act of reaching a conclusion or making up one's mind" (American Heritage, 2000). Essentially, a decision is a choice that an individual or a group of people makes. A decision can be a single action, an entire process, or even just a single spoken word or gesture. Decision-making is one of the defining characteristics of leadership. Making decisions is what managers and leaders are paid to do, and is an integral part of their day's duties. The affects of decisions can range from minor in consequence to life or career threatening. Regardless of the consequences, it is important to understand when a decision needs to be made and the best way to make it.
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The Rational Method requires that all possible solutions to a problem be discovered. No solutions should ever be evaluated or discarded at this point of the decision-making process. This process requires extensive research, and multiple resources and parties should be involved in the generation of this list. This search should continue until all possible solutions are presented or, "until the cost of search outweighs the value of the added information" (Penn State, 2003, p. 3).
Step 3 – Evaluate Ideas/Alternatives The third step of the Rational Model is to assess and evaluate all the ideas and alternatives collected in Step 2. This is the point in the Rational Decision making model where all the advantages and disadvantages for each alternative are weighed. Factors such as the ability to implement, the completeness of the solution, the amenability to all parties, the required time and cost are all to be considered. It is important to spend the time here to identify the best all around option as opposed to the quick and easy solution.
Step 4 – Implement Solution The fourth and final step of the Rational Model for decision-making is to implement the chosen solution(s). Once a solution has been selected, a plan to implement that solution must be developed and rolled-out. This is a very important step as without the successful implementation of the solution; all the work done to find the solution is wasted. It is imperative here to get the buy-in of

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