"internal rationality" and the effects of perceived decision difficulty: Results of a public management decisionmaking experiment

David Landsbergen, Barry Bozeman, Stuart Bretschneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent work in behavioral decision theory, despite its widespread impact on the social sciences, has not had a corresponding influence on policy decisionmaking. Internal rationality models, in contrast to external rationality models, assume that there can be a rational decision although there is variance in the internal structure of criteria imposed by individual decisionmakers. One concern with internal rationality models is that by legitimizing the use of internal rationality models, it will not be possible to produce agreement on what is a good decision. The second concern is that it will no longer be possible to describe decisionmaking and consequently to preclude making statements about good decisionmaking. These concerns are addressed by reviewing empirical and theoretical literature as well as by reporting on the results of recent experimental research. This experiment examined the effects of perceived decision difficulty on the use of various decision criteria. The results indicate the use of an evaluability criterion so that regardless of the decision setting and policy, the decisionmaker applies a variety of criteria but consistently weighs more heavily those he is able to evaluate personally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-264
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '"internal rationality" and the effects of perceived decision difficulty: Results of a public management decisionmaking experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this