Is the Rational Decision Making Model Right for Your Organization?

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Be it in an entry level or a higher position, decision making skill is important for everyone. The six step or rational decision making method is commonly used in organizations today. Let us discuss the pros and cons of the rational decision making approa

Be it in an entry level or a higher position, decision making skill is important for everyone. The six step or rational decision making model is commonly used in organizations today. Let us discuss the pros and cons of the models of decision making, so that we understand when and how to use this rational method.

The Six Step Decision Making Process

The rational decision making process is comprised of six important steps. A group of professionals meet in order to make decisions using these models.

Step 1: Determine the problem or the situation first. Finding a suitable solution is not feasible without defining a problem. Hence, this method primarily focuses on creating a problem statement.The expected outcome is also defined in this first step itself.

Step 2: Conduct researches to find the possible options / alternatives. Once the problem is defined, the group conducts researches to figure out the potential alternatives. Multiple alternatives are derived out of these researches.

Step 3: The third step is to compare the advantages and the disadvantages of these alternatives. The group carefully validate the pros and cons of each alternative and then choose the best solution.

Step 4: The fourth step is to choose the right course of action. As soon as the solution is identified, it is now time for an action. The chosen solution is transferred to the action phase.

Step 5: Designing and developing an action plan is the fifth step. The group aims at designing and developing a plan to implement the action items in this step.

Step 6: Analyzing the results is the final or the sixth step. After implementing the action plan, the results are gathered and analyzed by using various methods. There are different business research methods used to analyze these results.

Remember, you must follow each step to get the correct results. Missing even a single step won’t give any positive outcome.

The Advantages

Organizations gain a lot by implementing the rational decision making methodologies. Let us discuss the key advantages of using this method.

The Best Model to Identify and Verify the Problem: Many decision making processes fail because the exact problem is not identified properly. Since the rational decision making method involves the highly skilled professionals,this model is the best one to verify the problem statement. Before proceeding to the second step, the group defines and approves the problem statement.

The Best Solution to the Problem Identified: The rational decision making method analyzes the multiple options / alternatives identified. Comparing the pros and cons of the alternatives increase the chances of having a right solution to the problem defined.

Making Decisions: There are transformational leaders influence a great deal in developing the organizations. Since this model majorly involves people with good decision making and leadership skills, the effect in the organization will be enormous.

Reduce the Complexity in the Processes: The professionals used to follow the traditional decision making models in the previous days. Most of the times, these traditional methods led them to complex processes. To make these traditional methods simpler, organizations started adopting the rational decision making models. Why do organizations feel it easier to use this method?

  • This model is streamlined
  • The method is well planned in sequential steps
  • Easy to track the processes

Unambiguous Process: The processes, the problem identification methods, the preferences and the alternatives involved in the rational decision making method are unambiguous. Be assured of obtaining the accurate solution to the defined problem.

The Disadvantages

Like any other management methodologies, there are also disadvantages associated with the rational decision making method. Let us look at them in detail.

Expensive Process: There are so many alternatives used in pinpointing the end solution, hence the cost involved in verifying each option is normally very high. Each verification process involves using the costly resources, skills and business research methodologies. This six step model is quite expensive compared to other traditional decision making methods.

Time Consuming Processes: Since the group of professionals are involved in making decisions, it is not easy to come with a single solution quickly. Each member tends to suggest his own ideas or solutions. Time consumption during the discussion and the verification process is really high in this method.

Delays in Decision Making: There are too many critical values and data involved in analysing the alternatives, hence the indefinite delays are common while using this decision making model. Conflicts among members also creates delays and leads to slipped opportunities.

Determine the Suitability:

So far we have discussed the pros and cons of the rational decision making approach in this article. However, think well before choosing this method for your organization. Since you are going to spend your quality time and money while using this model, analyze well whether this is the suitable method for your company.


Author has professional experience participating in rational decision making groups.

Image Credit:

Decision Making, svilen001,