The rational model is the baseline against which other models are compared (Lahti, 1996). The model follows a scientific, methodical, and rational approach to decision-making. The model follows a step-by-step process which decision makers use in the quest to solve a problem. The steps followed by the rational model, as defined by Robbins (2002, p.74) are 1) define the problem; 2) identify the decision criteria; 3) weigh the criteria; 4) generate alternatives; 5) rate each alternative on each criterion; and 6) compute the optimal decision.

The first step of the model involves the process of defining the problem or goal. The necessity of this step is underscored by the fact that an assumption of the model is that decision makers will the same frame of reference regarding the definition of the problem.

Decision makers in step two, are required to establish objective criteria to assess the solutions formulated in the first step. The criteria will also be used to evaluate the failure or success of the chosen solution.

Step three of the model requires that decision makers mathematically weigh or rank the criteria formulated in step two....

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