Business Management


The decision-making is a particular course of action adopted by the organisation to help them in choosing best path for accomplishing company's objectives. The managers make various decisions for solving any specific problem or to manage any situation in an efficient way. The selection of a decision should be based on various factors so that the best alternative can be adopted which is suitable for the organisation. There are various models on which decision-making of a manager depends. In this process, managers play the role of change agents because of which they have to assess before and after effects of decisions so that workplace cannot be affected in an adverse way (Brandimarte, 2012). Some of the significant models are Rational, Administrative, Political and Garbage-can model. All models have their individual characteristics on which its selection depends which can perfectly meet the situation. In the report, two models of decision-making are selected for further discussion. These are Rational and Political model of decision making where both the frameworks have been compared and contrasted in modern context.

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Rational decision making model

The Rational model of decision making involves a lengthy and step by step process in which the selection of choice is done on the basis of various alternatives (Weske, 2012). The process of decision-making in this model uses logic and facts. Here, the individual has to take decision by choosing a best solution which is followed by a six step process which is stated below:

  • Defining the problem  
  • Identifying criteria of decision
  • Setting priorities for each criteria
  • Development of various alternatives
  • Evaluation of alternatives
  • Selection of best option

Thus, before going for any decision a manager in the organisation must follow these steps in a logical manner that will aid in taking right decision (Jeston and Nelis, 2014). The features of this decision making model are:

  • Problems and objectives are clear to the managers
  • Priorities given to decisions are agreed by all concerned people
  • Alternatives available for solution are known
  • Results can be predicted

Political decision-making model

This model is popularly known as Incremental model of decision making. The political model of decision-making believes that various situations occur in an organisation which   has non alignment and cannot be solved through logical and systematic procedure (Rohloff, 2011). Therefore, it is necessary to develop a solution through the bargaining process that can reflect a common agreement  between various decisions. The key features of this framework are:

  • The alternatives are based on situations which does not follow particular step.
  • The results cannot be predicted
  • Alternatives found for solution may be opposed by the concerned authorities

Comparison between both models

In case of rational decision making, the problems are generally clear and made as per the systematic and defined criteria. Similarly, the political or Incremental model also follows a logical thinking to reach a solution which is based on bargaining process (DaÄŸdeviren, 2010). Both models have similar aims of solving a particular situation in which the concerned person uses his abilities and skills to come out with a best choice. In both situations, the manager may or may not have a number of alternatives to solve the situation. While in other scenario, the manager may have a lot of alternatives among which he has to choose one of the best. This type of situation can be handled with the help of good decision-making skills which are necessary in both the models. For instance, in Tesco, the company is recently facing a situation of declining profits due to number of factors (Rodriguez, Martinez and Herrera, 2012). These factors may include increasing competition, weak marketing strategy; unskilled employees etc. in such condition, a manager of the said company can go for either of two models to improve the current situation. If the manager goes for first model, he must go through step by step procedure which starts from defining the problem to choosing from various alternatives. Similarly, if manager adopts the second model, he will try to apply some tactics which can bring changes in policies and regulations. For this, he will have to prepare all concerned people so that they can have idea about it.  On the basis of this, they may either favour it or oppose it for which the manager must follow a bargaining process that can help in making them adjustable for change (Van Kleef, De Dreu and Manstead, 2010).

Difference between both models

The Rational decision-making model follows a particular method to solve a problem. In other words, said decision-making model is based on rational and logical thinking process to reach at a solution. While on other hand, the Political model of decision-making does not follow a set procedure but a best course of action that is applicable according to a specific situation. The political model does not lay emphasis on a single issue like Rational model (Mu and Li, 2010). In contrast the incremental framework focuses on multiple issues of intra organisational difficulties. In rational model, the power of decision making is concentrated in the hands of central authority while in political model this power can be generally decentralised department wise. Further, the rational model adopts known alternatives for solving a problem as it is while political model usually makes some minor changes in available options (Brandimarte, 2012). For instance, in an organisation like Tesco, the employees may raise their voice against less payment of wages and may demand pay raise. In such situation, the Political model of decision making will be more helpful to solve the problem. Manager can take aid of bargaining process to make workers ready for a common solution instead of following six steps according to rational model. In such case, there is no relevance of following any step by step process of decision making as it needs to be solved through some tactics in efficient manner (DaÄŸdeviren, 2010). Thus, there are various differences between both models according to which a manger must act.

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The present report has focused on Decision-making models that have a relevance in modern context and can imply role of managers in different situations. In this report two models of decision-making which are Rational model and Political framework has been discussed. The rational model is based on logical and factual decision making process that is followed by a six step process. While, the Political decision-making model, the manager makes decision on the basis of situation and bring changes through negotiations. The both model have their own relevance and significance. The study articulates various differences and similarities between both frameworks. On this basis, it can be articulated that applicability of these two decision making theories is based on situations in organisation. Hence, it depends on a specific scenario that impels the manager to implement the model.

You may also like to read: 


  • Brandimarte, P., 2012. Quantitative methods: An introduction for business management. John Wiley & Sons.
  • DaÄŸdeviren, M., 2010. A hybrid multi-criteria decision-making model for personnel selection in manufacturing systems. Journal of Intelligent manufacturing. 21(4), pp.451-460.
  • Jeston, J. and Nelis, J., 2014. Business process management. Routledge.
  • Mu, C. and Li, Y., 2010. An intrusion response decision-making model based on hierarchical task network planning. Expert systems with applications. 37(3), pp.2465-2472.
  • Rodriguez, R.M., Martinez, L. and Herrera, F., 2012. Hesitant fuzzy linguistic term sets for decision making. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. 20(1), pp.109-119.
  • Rohloff, M., 2011. Advances in business process management implementation based on a maturity assessment and best practice exchange. Information Systems and e-Business Management. 9(3), pp.383-403.
  • Van Kleef, G.A., De Dreu, C.K. and Manstead, A.S., 2010. An interpersonal approach to emotion in social decision making: The emotions as social information model. Advances in experimental social psychology. 42, pp.45-96.
  • Weske, M., 2012. Business process management architectures. In Business Process Management (pp. 333-371). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
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