Strategy Process

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1. Which strategic decision making model is reflected in the Cuban missile crisis, the rational model, the political model, or the garbage can model? Before we can explain which decision making was used in the Cuban missile crisis we first need to explain and understand what the different models are, therefore we explain in appendix 1 what each decision model is.

We see some features of the garbage can model in the decision making process in the Cuban missile crisis, like the appearance and the role the ABC reporter played in the crisis. This reporter is contacted by the Soviets and works as a communication channel between the USA en the Soviet. Normally this reporter wasn’t involved in the decision-making process so this shows that there is an aspect of luck in the decision-making process, and that decision-makers come and go randomly (although he isn’t really a decision makers, he does play an important role). But apart from that feature we don’t believe the decision making model use in the Cuban missile crisis reflects the garbage can model, since the decision-makers have very clear preferences (The Joint Chiefs of Staff has a clear preference for a strike attack followed by an invasion) and the participants aren’t random (before the process you could know that these actors involved right now would be involved, only the ABC reporter is an exception). At first sight, It looks quite clear that the strategic decision making model in the Cuban missile crisis reflects the political model. We see the formation of coalition, for example we see the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Dean Acheson form a collation. We also see the rise of conflicts, especially between the president and different members of the executive committee who favor a strike attack. And we see that almost every actor engages in politics to influence others, for example that special assistant O’Donnell calls the pilot who is responsible to fly a mission over Cuba to take pictures and commands him to lie about the fact that he was shot at by the Cuban or Russian soldiers. But the main reason why we don’t think that the decision making model reflects the political model is because the president himself doesn’t has a clear cut opinion about what to do, and so he doesn’t tries to convince others about what the appropriate action to take is. We do agree that the environment in which the president makes the decision is filled with the political model. The model that we believe that reflects the strategic decision making model in the Cuban missile crisis is the rational model. If we look at the decision making situation we see that only one person makes the ‘big’ decision, the president. In making this decision the president follows the rational model (he follows the steps, although he makes some shortcuts) The steps of the rational model are: define a goal, gather information, develop alternatives and choose an alternative (Eisenhardt and Zbaracki, 1992). Or as Simon (1965) mentioned the identification, development, and selection model. And we see the president taking exactly those steps. First he defines his goal and that is getting the missiles out of Cuba. After that he gathers information, that’s why the president spoke with so many different actors and with some of them more than once. After that he develops het alternatives, which he thinks are: 1) Air strike and invasion 2) quarantine 3) make a deal to remove all Jupiter missiles from southern Italy and in Turkey and in advance the Soviets will remove their missiles from Cuba. After that he choose an alternative, first he chooses the quarantine and after that he choose to make a deal with the Soviets. So although he doesn’t follows the ration model perfectly (for example he doesn’t seek for all the alternatives) he follows the steps of the ration model. So like Bounded rationality shapes the strategic decision processes, and the political perspective shapes the social context.

2. Based on the political...
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