Rational decision making

Rational decision making
See also

Rational decision making - it is a style of decision making based on objective data and a formal process of analysis. It excludes acting based on subjective feelings and intuitive approach. The model assumes that deducting decisions with full information and all alternatives allows for the creation of cognitive skills that allow the evaluation of all possible options and then the selection of the best one. Furthermore, a given decision model assumes that people will always choose to make decisions that will allow them to maximize profit and significantly reduce costs. It is worth mentioning that this is a multi-level process aimed at excluding all inadequate alternatives and indicating the most appropriate decision based on the available data.

Initiating rational decision making process

Starting rational planning should be about carrying out a proper preliminary research. At the outset, identify the problem and the related main and side topics. Then, using all available sources, tools, and data, it is important that the person/team in charge of the decision making aggregates all the information in a synthetic summary.

It is worth noting that the implementation of this model is usually called the economic model of rationality. It consists in the fact that many economists define a problem about consumers, namely their choices or investments, and then, based on available data, make decisions on the identification of a given phenomenon.

It is possible to divide decision making into two segments:

  • emotional decision-making process,
  • rational decision-making process.

As it is indicated in the literature[1], from the perspective of decision-making routines, this model is very often used to carry out recruitment, integrate internal environments or make difficult sales or HR decisions. Taking away emotions connected with e. g. human tragedy, loss of a large amount of money or growing conflicts, rational decision making allows us to trace all the positive and negative sides of possible solutions and then provide a response based on cold calculations. Alternatively, it is called strategic management of an organization's or individual's thought process[2].

Rational decision making in groups

The process of rationalizing decision-making is less popular among individuals. This is because very often they are not able to confront their thought process with a different one. Therefore, despite the collection of relevant data, they are not able to eliminate the emotional factor. Also, they are more exposed to emotional decision-making.

Given the above, research shows that group decision-making is more rational. This is because by confronting thoughts or attempts to find a compromise, the cooperating individuals have to compare their views with each other and then work out the most optimal solutions. In this case, the most convincing process is to give rational arguments that are not based on emotions. Otherwise, the group will very quickly reject these arguments and will not take them into account, as they, too, have had to get rid of these emotions to obtain a common position[3].


  1. Cabantous L., Gond J-P. 2011
  2. Fiori M., Lintas A., Mesrobian S., Villa A.E.P. 2013
  3. Kugler T., Kausel E. E., Kocher M. G. 2012


Author: Marta Cader