Decision Making Models

  • Decision making is the process of selecting the best alternative from the available set of alternatives.
  • Decision making involves three activities: (Herbert A Simon)
    • Intelligence Activity
    • Designing Activity
    • Choice Activity
7-Steps Model
  1. Establish objectives
  2. Classify and prioritize objectives
  3. Develop alternative actions
  4. Evaluate alternatives against objectives
  5. Tentative decision to most appropriate alternative
  6. Evaluation of tentative decision for more consequences
  7. Decisive action is taken and additional actions to prevent consequences
Rational Model
  • Consists of a structured four-step sequence:
    • identifying the problem
    • generating alternative solutions
    • selecting a solution
    • implementing and evaluating the solution
  • Techniques used in rational model of decision-making are:
    • SWOT analysis
    • Pareto analysis
    • Decision trees
    • Management by Objectives (MBO)
    • Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
Simon’s Normative Model
  • This model based on premise that decision making is not rational
  • The model state that decision making is characterized by:
    • limited information processing
    • use of rules of thumb or shortcuts
    • satisfying
Group Decision Making Model
  • Groups can accumulate more knowledge and facts
  • Groups have a broader perspective and consider more alternative solutions.
  • Individuals who participate in decisions are more satisfied with the decision and are more likely to support it.
Clinical Decision Making Model
Banning described three clinical decision making models:
  1. information-processing model that uses a scientific hypothetic-deductive, quantitative approach,
  2. the intuitive-humanistic model that focuses on intuition and how the knowledge gained from nursing experience enriches the clinical decision making process and
  3. the clinical-decision model that uses both hypothetico-deductive and pattern recognition.
  • Critical pathways are used as a technique in clinical decision making.
  • Decision-making models offer analytical tools which can be combined to provide useful insights.
  • In the real world, most of our decisions are made unconsciously in our mind.
  1. Banning M. A review of clinical decision making: models and current research. J Clin Nurs.2008;17(2):187–95.
  2. Baron, J. (2004). Normative models of judgment and decision making. In D. J. Koehler& N. Harvey (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making, pp. 19:36. London: Blackwell.


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