Decision Making Models

Decision Making Models

All people need to make decisions from time to time. Given the limited time in formulating policies and addressing problems, people have to enjoy a particular degree of discretion and good judgment in planning, revising and implementing their own course of action. That is, they must engage in decision-making (Giannakos, 2004; Verma, 2009). Over the years, scholars have come up with different decision-making models to account for the course of action taken.
The various decision making models which have been put forwards include, the rational models, the intuitive models, the rational-iterative models and the 5, 6, 7 as well as the 9 step decision models among others.

Rational decision-making model
This model allows decision-makers to make the best decisions and judgments and subsequently realize maximum efficiency and competency out of inadequate time and resources as well as knowledge in generating decisions. This model presumes that there exists only one most ideal and best outcome, thus at times it is referred to as the optimizing decision-making model. The model presumes that it is practicable to take into account every option available to a problem and also be knowledgeable of the future consequences of each.
Presented with the critical need to select the best alternative solution to a significant challenge, decision makers are confronted with the need to make the best possible decision. If that decision can maximize an individual’s rewards and meet his goals and objectives, there is an incentive to seek out information that will enlighten the decision and thereafter execute it. (Swoboda & Georgalu, 2008, p. 77)
It comprises of a structured four step sequence, these steps being; the identification of the problem, the generation of alternative solutions, the selection of a solution and finally the implementation and evaluation of the solution
One of the disadvantages that are associated with this model is that they require a great deal of time and a vast deal of information (Verma, 2009, p. 225). Other impediments are; the impossibility of distinguishing facts from values and of analytically separating ends from means, the improbability of obtaining consensus among decision makers on predetermined goals, pressure of time to make a decision when it is needed and the ability of decision makers to handle only a partial amount of information at any particular time. Other disadvantages associated with the rational approach include, the difficulty of giving one’s undivided attention to a single problem or decision, the cost of information acquisition, failure to secure all possible data because of time constraints, excessive costs or oversight and the inability to predict all the consequences of a given option among others (Milakovich & Gordon, 2008, pp. 209-211)

7step decision making model
This model was conceived and meant for those individuals who sought after a decision-making model which would assist them in making a decision about which career path to take or in deciding what action to take in regards to a job offer. Therefore, several steps are designed to achieve this.
The 7steps involved are; identification of the decision to be made, knowing your strengths, weaknesses, skills, values and interests, identifying your options, gathering information, facts and data about each alternative, evaluating the options that are likely to solve the problem, selecting the best option and the seventh step being to develop a plan of action and implementing it.
This model has the disadvantage of being extremely cumbersome, and information overload may actually inhibit the decision-making, that is, it is tedious especially when trying to figure out which information is relevant and which is not. Moreover, this model is not practical as it does not demonstrate how human beings naturally make decisions.
Other lesser known models include,
The Simon’s Normative Model. This model is founded on the assertion that the decision-making process is not rational. Herein, decision making is characterized by, limited information processing, excessive use of rules of thumb and, or shortcuts and satisficing
The 9 step decision-making model was proposed by David Welsh in his book ‘Decisions, Decisions’. This model allows the individual to consistently aim to maximize his pleasure and will be beneficial in the long run than in making decisions in any other way.
The intuitive decision-making models, herein decisions are considered to be lucky guesses, unlikely coincidences or a sort of hocus-pocus.

Milakovich, M. E., & Gordon, G. J. (2008). Public Administration in America (10, illustrated
ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
Swoboda, D., & Georgalu, S. (2008). Managing Nonprofit Financial and Fiscal Operations.
Management Concepts.
VERMA, D. (2009). Decision Making Style: Social and Creative Dimensions. Global
India Publications.


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