A lot of scholars in administration have long discussed about decision making. Among them, there is a long-time scholar of public policy issues, Charles Lindblom, who offers an important conceptual understanding of governmental decision making in his essay The Science of “Muddling Through”. This essay focuses on Lindblom’s idea of decision making. We are going to have brief descriptions of “branch” and “root” methods suggested by Lindblom. Then, we are going to discuss the major differences between two models and give an example of each method from Hong Kong or other places. At last, we are going to talk about the advantages and shortcomings of each of these methods.
2) Brief Description of “branch” method (Evolution)
Another name: successive limited comparisons
The branch method is described as the real way of achieving decisions in the government. This approach to decision making is incremental, for small steps are always taken to achieve objectives. It is non-comprehensive without a consideration of the full range of policy choices. It also involves successive comparisons. The policies under this method are made and remade endlessly by small chains of comparisons between narrow choices.
1) In this method, an administrator sets up an objective which can be quickly compromised among different groups of the society. It may soon be mixed with other goals according to previous experiences.
2) The administrator does not consider all the advantages which can accompany the objective and only concentrates on those that the administrator consider immediately relevant.
3) The administrator does not list out all the possible alternatives which can attain the objective. He or she only outlines a narrow range of possibilities, which are a few incremental steps that experience tells him or her are feasible.
4) In selecting the best alternative, the administrator does not rationally select the one that maximizes the advantages listed. He or...