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Rational Approach

Discuss About The Development Projects As Policy Experiments?

Policy making is the collection of ideas and plans which are formed to perform the certain activity with the objective to attain the desired goals and the objectives. This activity is being performed by the government and business enterprises in order to accomplish the tasks in an effective manner along with attaining the best possible outcomes. While making a policy, the developing authority needs to consider certain standards, rules, and regulations through which the desired outcomes could be originated. Apart from this, policies help the enterprises to direct the subordinates and lower level employees to perform their actions in an appropriate manner. Developing policy is the deliberate system which consists of various principles to direct the decisions in the manner through which the rationale outcomes could be originated. Policies act as the protocol which needs to be considered and followed by all the operations and the other bodies to perform the functionalities in the appropriate manner. For developing the policies, there is number of approaches such as rational and incremental which helps to strengthen those policies. With strong and effective policies, an organization could easily approach its departments for performing those in appropriate manner. Policies are the best possible ways to assist the organizations in both subjective as well as in an objective manner. With the help of appropriate policies, negative impacts of the functionalities could be avoided as well as the operations would easily be performed (Ball, 2012).

This report includes the rational and incremental approaches which are used for making the policies and their impacts will also be covered under this report. Along with this, suitability of the approach will also be discussed for increasing the effectiveness as well as to improve the policy making process.

This planning model for developing the policies involves various rational actions and steps. On the basis of Taylor (1998), there are five crucial steps which are used in the rational policy making process:

  • Description of the issues;
  • Determination of alternative policies and plans;
  • Assessment of alternative policies and the plans;
  • Implementation of those plans and policies; and
  • Measuring the effects of those plans (Richardson & Mazey, 2015).

This model is generally used by neighborhoods, regions, and cities for developing the planning and policy model. It has been observed that this model is generally adopted and implemented for transportation planning and for modern urban planning. This model has various limitations which affect the decision making as well as the policy developing procedure. Amongst the numerous limitations, the major limitation is lack of involvement of the stakeholders in the planning process as well as it also affects the community planning and other models of planning like collaborative planning which are majorly implemented (Pollack, 2015).


Apart from the negative side of the rational decision making model, there are certain positive sides too i.e. it is the best method for organizational behaviour through which effective decisions could be developed in regards to the development of policies. This also helps in the process of identification of the issues along with determining the most appropriate way to resolve those issues in order to attain the positive outcomes (Birkland, 2014).

Rational decision making process includes number of steps for effective planning which are as follows:

Verification and definition of issue: This process includes the collection of information regarding the problem, goal which needs to be attained and the verification of the issues which affects the operations. Under this step, the primary action which needs to be taken is identification of the issue, analysing the all available alternatives to resolve the issue as well as the executing the primary analysis. Primary elements of this step are creative thinking, creative ideas, brainstorms and the inspirations (Aitamurto, 2012).

While executing this step, top-level management identifies the issue and to resolve that issue, problem identification technique is executed by the group of members as this approach is conducted by a group of members in relevance with identifying the best alternative for resolving the query. Thus, it is necessary that all the members of the group should perform the same functionalities in relevance with developing the same sort of understating regarding the issue. Along with the identification of the problem, it is also required to analyse the best possible alternatives to resolve those issues in an appropriate manner (Belfiore & Bennett, 2010).

Gather all relevant resolutions: Under this step, an analysis needs to be conducted with the objective of identifying the best possible resolutions and there must be two or three solutions which could effectively resolve the issue. Preparation of all possible alternatives is necessary as it helps the organization to reach an optimal or rational decision. For gathering the alternative resolutions, it is necessary to collect all types of information and technological factors could also be utilised for collecting the information in relevance with the reaching to the appropriate decision (Cornish & Clarke, 2014).

Create criteria for objective assessment: This step helps to analyse the effectiveness of the alternatives through which the success and failure of the alternatives could easily be analysed. This is the final analysis which is executed for analysing the significance of the alternatives in order to attain the most appropriate resolution technique. After analysing the process of definition of problem, analysing the all possible alternatives, gathering information for all alternatives, evaluating their significance, effectiveness and capacity, it is required to evaluate all possible consequences of every alternative technique which was gathered. With the help of this information, appropriate decision will be finalised with the view to implement for ascertaining the effective results (Peck & Theodore, 2012).

Implementation of rational planning model in the policy making

Selection of the appropriate technique: In this step, solution will be implemented which was finalised in the above step. This will be done on the basis of execution of above four steps for analysing the desired outcomes. The outcomes originated from the all five steps are known as the core of the Rational Decision making model (McCann & Ward, 2012).

Monitoring and feedback: This step includes certain techniques which are implemented for analysing the outcomes' effectiveness. With the help of this, organization may increase its efficiency as well as it will also help to ensure the future success and growth of the competitive business environment. After analysing the gap amongst the techniques, it is required to provide appropriate feedbacks through which the gaps could be fulfilled along with increasing the efficiency of the decision making process (Stevens, 2011).

The rational decision making process is the most effective source of analysing the effective decisions in relation to the policy making in the public sector. Rationality is the term which is used for describing the behavioural style which is relevant for the achievement of the goals considering the limitations of the situation. While implementing this model for policy making, certain assumptions need to be made. Some of these assumptions are:

  • System should be stable in which model needs to be applied;
  • Government body is a rational and its functionalities are supposed to be rational choices only;
  • Problems in policy will be decided;
  • No limitation on the consumption of time and cost (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011).

It has been observed that the rational decision making model is also effective in the process of numerous decision making processes within the industries as well as in the public sphere. In relation to its effectiveness, there are certain negative impacts also. This decision making process is based on the assumptions through which it leads to inappropriate decisions. Thus, the application of this process is very difficult in the public sector as there are various social platforms which could lead to complex issues (Hastie & Dawes, 2010).

Current status of the rational decision making model is that it is a questionable process, though it was created in the past today, it has been declared as the questionable process. In the last decade, its importance was fallen due to certain assumptions which are the crucial object of this model. Rational decision making model could not be implemented except taking the political context (Cabantous & Gond, 2011).

It is a process of decision making which helps to improve the decisions by making certain small changes rather adding assumptions or creating large changes. Incremental approach is also known as the incrementalism. The processes of incrementalism are effective as well as sensible for generating the positive outcomes along with determining the possibilities of attaining the desired goals without assumption (Kowalkowski, et. al., 2012). All the processes and steps involved in the incremental decision making approach are based on logic and its major focus is over the "Power-Behavioural Approach rather focusing on the Formal Systems Planning Approach”. Implementation of this approach in the public sphere will lead to small changes with the view to implement large changes for accomplishment of the tasks in accordance with the policies, standards with regards to gain positive outcomes. This approach was developed by Lindblom in order to act as the mediator amongst the rational decision making approach and the bounded rationally as both of these were not able to generate possible outcomes on the basis of expectations (Van Kleef, De Dreu & Manstead, 2010).

Incremental Approach

This approach is being used by most of the people in their daily routine with the objective to extract the most appropriate manner to resolve their issues. For instance, making a coffee and the like is example of incremental approach. In order to implement this type of approaches, extensive planning is not required for dealing with the situation. Even in the processes where extensive planning is required, incrementalism plays crucial role in order to increase the effectiveness of the decision. This approach is effective enough to increase the efficiency along with the attainment of the organizational goals and the objectives. Along with developing the right policy for matching up with the decision, it is required to analyse the changes needed before they applying them to the processes (Heazle, et. al., 2013).

While executing the large projects, it is required to implement the strategic planning under which time needs to be allocated for gaining the appropriate outcomes along with avoiding the fire fighting. Other approaches dealt with identifying the alternatives then identifying their effectiveness along with determination of their suitability on the basis of various situations. Incrementalism helps to solve the queries on immediate basis along with the help of most appropriate alternative (Brewster, 2010). This increases the effectiveness and efficiency of strategic plan. Other techniques of planning are top down, bottom up and the like. Incrementalism approach involves the strategic planning processes through which immediate actions could be taken in consideration with resolving the issues. The issues raised within the workplace could be resolved immediately with the help of incrementalism approach (Knaggård, 2014).

Apart from incrementalism, strategic implementation is a technique acts as the opposite to incrementalism. The process involved in the strategic implementation includes various objectives through which the task could get done. In the practical approach, it has been analysed the useful approaches for developing the effective policies are the strategic implementation and incrementalism. With the help of these approaches, organization could easily mold its functionalities on the basis of policies' requirements as well as it helps for establishing goodwill (Anderson, 2014).

With the help of incrementalism, formal system’s effectiveness could be increased as well as time and cost could also be saved:

  • In relevance to political stability, this approach helps to identify the appropriate requirements along with the development of an effective image.
  • This approach could easily be understood. In relation to other approaches to the policy makers, it can be analysed that the organization will easily be able to uplift its performance.
  • Incremental approach also helps the organization to perform their functionalities in an appropriate manner along with the stable budget. Organization is required to perform their tasks on the basis of policies and with the incrementalism, organization could easily amend its policies on the basis of requirement and this will help them to attain their goals and the objectives (Rondinelli, 2013).
  • Incremental approach also offers flexibility in the process through which organization could perform its tasks in an appropriate manner.
  • Companies with several numbers of departments lead to conflict situation amongst those departments and the major reason for the conflict is indifferent allocation of budget. But with the help of incrementalism, organization could allocate the appropriate budget as per the requirements and this leads to development of positive workplace environment (Weyer, et. al., 2013).
  • In order to accomplish the tasks, it is required to meet the immediate queries and the issues and incrementalism are capable enough to do the same. But sometimes, immediate resolving the issues leads to negative outcomes in the future time period.
  • Some issues such as lack of finance, lack of knowledge and lack of other crucial variables within the workplace require huge time for resolving those issues. Thus, they cannot be resolved with the help of incremental approach on immediate basis.
  • As this approach leads to equal distribution of the budget, thus, it decreases the creativity of the employees and due to absence of incentives to the employees, new ideas and innovation related practices of the employee’s decreases (Goodall, 2014).

This approach is used in various sectors with the motive to develop the powerful policies through which appropriate outcomes could be attained. Major sectors which use this approach are politics, software design, industry, planning sector and the engineering. This approach is also termed as the “firefighting” under which it helps the organization to improve the designs of their products rapidly. In politics, this approach plays crucial role. For instance, rise in the gas prices with 100 cents together will bring the notice of audience which could result in various negative outcomes. While increase in the gas prices by 10 cents in a week and perform the same function regularly till it reaches the prices get increased by 100 cents will not attract large number of audience. This helps the government to fulfil its objectives along with this; it also helps them to accomplish their desired tasks in an appropriate manner.

Suitability of Rational and Incremental Approaches

Amongst the various approaches discussed above in relation to the policy making attribute, it has been observed that both these approaches have unique benefit and significance. With the help of rational approach to the policy making, various effective policies could be developed based on certain assumptions. This approach has certain limitations also which decreases the efficiency and effectiveness of the policies while it also helps to develop certain outcomes which enhance the performance of the organization (Lunenburg, 2010).

Effective policies help the organization to increase the efficiency of the organization along with the development of an important position in the target market. This also helps them to increase their performance as well it performs the tasks in a crucial manner. It helps the organization to make the crucial decision in order to improve their performance. Policies are developed in various sectors such as political, managerial, administration as well as the financial. Decision making approaches have huge impact over the development of policies, hence, it is required to adopt the most appropriate strategy through which organization could uplift its performance along with the development of certain effective strategies could also be done appropriately (Goodall, 2014).

For analysing the most suitable approach for the purpose of developing policies from the above two approaches i.e. rational and incremental, it is necessary to analyse the related factors of these approaches. While analysing, it has been reviewed that the rational approach is used for making the decisions based on assumptions through which the organization could make the effective policies. Incremental approach to decision making process leads to the development of the policies which provides immediate resolutions for the issues of the organization.

In order to choose the best approach from these two options for improving the policy making procedure strong, incremental approach has been selected with reviewing the related factors with the approach as well as through reviewing its effectiveness and efficiency (Rondinelli, 2013).


From the aforesaid information, it can be concluded that the incremental approach will be more suitable in terms to improve the policy making procedure in comparison with other approaches. Under this report, two approaches related to decision making and policy making has been discussed. Along with this, various other factors have also been discussed with these approaches in order to identify their effectiveness. After reviewing all the factors and the effectiveness of those approaches, organization has decided to adopt certain strategies for improving the decision making and policy making procedure. Incrementalism approach has been finalised as the most suitable approach for increasing the efficiency of the policies through which positive outcomes could be originated.



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