The Model Defined

The Rational Decision Making Model was developed by Dr. Stephen P. Robbins of San Diego State University. This model, used largely in studies of organizational behavior, provides a sequential system for making decisions to be used by managers and groups in organizations and businesses. The seven steps of the model include:

1) Define the problem

In Robbins' model, the first step is to take the time to truly define the problem. It isn't sufficient to just observe and record the side effects or symptoms of a situation.

2) Generate all possible solutions

Brainstorm all the ways the problem could be solved.

3) Generate objective assessment criteria (weight the criteria)

This step requires the group to evaluate what outcomes would likely occur with each proposed solution. The group also has to decide what objective measures will be placed on factors like cost, time to implement, ease of implementation, or other issues.

3) Choose the best solution from generated responses

After putting objective weights to each component of the potential solutions, choose the best possible solution.

4) Implement the chosen decision

After deciding which solution is best, put that solution into action.

5) Evaluate the "success" of the chosen alternative

Did the chosen solution solve the problem? Did it solve only part of the problem? Did it create new problems?

6) Evaluate the "success" of the chosen alternative

Did the chosen solution solve the problem? Did it solve only part of the problem? Did it create new problems? Evaluate the "success" of the implemented solution and decide if you need to proceed to step 7.

7) Modify decision based on step 6

If the "solution" caused more problems, or simply didn't solve the original one, modify the choices, based on the evaluation in step 6.

Criticisms of the Model

The biggest drawbacks to this model are the assumptions that