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What Is the Rational Decision-Making Model?

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A rational decision-making model involves a cognitive process by which the problem solver thinks through the problem and determines the best possible result by weighing alternative solutions. Each step in this process follows in a logical order, based on the step before. It is a process for making logically sound decisions, and it's the organizational-behavior equivalent to the rational planning model used for urban and transportation planning.

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What Is the Rational Decision-Making Model?
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A rational decision-making model provides a structured and sequenced approach to decision-making that helps to ensure discipline and consistency throughout the process. There are different types of rational models; the number of steps involved, and even the specific steps employed, differ from one model to the next. However, the typical steps include: defining the situation/decision to be made; identifying the important criteria and the desired result; considering all possible solutions; measuring the consequences of these solutions against the benefit of satisfying the criteria; and choosing the best option.

The comparison is made by filling out forms with labels such as decision matrix, decision grid, selection matrix and criteria rating form. A relative importance is given to each criterion, and the options are then scored against each of the criteria. The highest score wins.

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