Decision Making Models In Hal Rainey's Understanding And Managing Public Organizations

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In the context of public organizations, there are a number of decision making models that can applied to the actions of these organizations. In his book Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, Hal Rainey outlines a number of different theories of organizational decision making that explain why organizations do what they do. The three most prominent theories he describes are rational decision making, incremental decision making, and mixed scanning. Each of these will be discussed in depth for their merit and shortfalls. Rational decision making is the first and simplest method of making decisions. It is the least complex model of decision making and it has essentially four baseline factors that play into it. According to Rainey, rational decision making takes place when the actor making decisions is aware of and understands the goal that he or she is trying to complete. In addition, the actor must be able to determine the importance of the goals being evaluated and then prioritize them accordingly. After this has been done the actor looks at and evaluates all the different ways that a goal can be accomplished, and as a result the actor chooses the action that accomplishes the target goal the most efficiently and effectively. Due to the often times, complex and politically volatile nature of the public sector, rational decision making models are best applied to less important decisions. For example, a rational decision making model can be applied to day to day
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