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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)
close this folderPart I. Essay on the councillor as decision-maker
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentBe rational!
View the documentProblem identification
View the documentAwareness and vision
View the documentReflection
View the documentProblems, symptoms and solutions
View the documentTalk to your problem
View the documentFurther analysis
View the documentQuality and acceptance
View the documentConsequences
View the documentWhat about group decision-making?
View the documentReflection
View the documentOther decision traps
View the documentMaking decisions in uncertainty
View the documentKey points
View the documentReferences

Be rational!

How many times have you heard this admonition as a member of council? Probably often because our formal institutions put a high premium on rational judgements and decisions. There is a widely shared concept in many societies that, although we are fallible human beings, we ought to strive toward an ideal of rationality, particularly with respect to decision-making in formal organizations.

The roots of rationality run deep and cut across political and cultural boundaries. This centuries-old practice can be traced back to the initiation of highly Decision. organized, bureaucratic civilizations in many parts of the world. It reached its zenith maker of legitimacy in the last century with the emergence of the "age of rationality." Since rationality is still the modus operandi in our formal institutions, like elected councils, we will look at some of the characteristics of this approach to decision-making.

The rational decision-making process, as it is described by many authors, includes the following steps:

· Problem identification
· Problem analysis
· Alternative generation
· Consequence consideration
· Deciding

It's a good model and provides the kind of direction and rigour that helps us make effective decisions most of the time. But, there are some aspects of this model that can benefit from a bit of discussion. Let's take them one step at a time.