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For over fifty years the Rational Decision-Making Model has been at the heart of what people do when conducting policy analysis and for that same amount of time it has been criticized and challenged. (Pal, p. 20) The Rational Decision-Making Model has as its steps; an emphasis on determining goals, developing options, selecting & designing a preferred option, implementing and evaluating. Many of the criticisms of the Rational Decision-Making Model are come from critics both external and internal to the discipline of policy analysis, with each having its own validity. To be able to understand the Rational Decision -Making Model and its usage in policy analysis I will begin by first putting for the definition and over view of what Policy Analysis is and then detailing each step of the Rational Decision-Making Model and the critics of it.
Pal begins his text by putting forth the statement that Public Policy Analysis is in trouble. (Pal, p.1) Upon analyzing the text I tend to agree with him as not only do his arguments, and the similar arguments of Brooks, make sense in the context of the writing, but I myself can envision the problems that public policy analysis will be presented with in the future as the past factors that have caused a re-evaluation of Political Analysis continue to cultivate. Chapter 2 of the text speaks of these at great length and they are: Goverence is changing, globalization, Information Technologies, diverse societies; smaller governments that do less and allow the markets to dictate and global systems; and, the discipline field itself, was a postwar phenomenon that today appears as a weapon in the struggle for political advantage and the public questions the result of many policies. (pg x, Pal) To clarify, Public Policy, as defined by Pal, is a course of action chosen by public aut!
horities to address a given problem or inter-related set of problems. Whereas, Thomas Dye (1984, p.1-as quoted in Pal p.4) calls it "whatever government chooses to do or not to do", Howards Lasswall (1951 p.5) calls it "the most important choices". The several definitions sited here all have choices as their key element. The Rational Decision-Making Model of is the model that must be used, even if generally, for each problem/choice before a response can be articulated to respond to that problem. "Policy or strategy is formulated consciously, preferably analytically and made explicit, and then implemented formally". (Mintzberg & Jorgensen, 1987, p.219) (Pal, p. 4.)
The Rational Decision-Making Model is a seven step model of decision making that is meant as a standard to allow decision makers to think logically and rationally when forming a decision, and in this case public policy. It is built on many assumptions. Several being: problems and objectives are clear, people agree o
Quotes talked about in this paper
- Charles Lindblom (1959) argued: ".. the unforgiving strictures of ration-decision making were so unrealistic in terms of the cognitive and political situations faced by most decision makers that in fact they made choices by "muddling through" ...
- Stone argues: "… Reasoned analysis is necessarily political. It always involves choices to include some things and exclude others and to view the world in a particular way when other views are possible. Policy analysis is political argument and vise versa." ...
- Lindbolm refined the model (normative and descriptive framework) stating that: "they work best, if at all, when there is a single decision-marker with a clear and ordered set of priorities, objectives, plenty of information and comfortable time lines." ...
Names referenced in this research paper
Leslie A. Pal, Lindblom, Stephen Brooks, Charles Lindblom, Stephen; Public, Herbert Simon, Len Karakowsky, Carol Weiss, Mintzberg, Stone, Thomas Dye, Howards Lasswall, Jorgensen, Lindbolm, Karakowsky, Janawitz, Thompson, Dryzek, Torgerson,
Organizations referenced in this essay
Public Administration, Federal Liberal Party,
Locations mentioned in this report
Canada, Smithburg, United States,
Companies referenced in this essay
Keywords mentioned in this essay
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