What is rational decision-making? What are the steps?

By Hadrat Ajao4 min read · Posted Mar 25, 2024


Decision-making is undertaken by individuals daily, revolving around what to eat, what to wear, whether to go somewhere, what to read, etc. A decision-making process preempts every human action.

The rational decision-making process is often employed when making choices or decisions. The process is based on logic, reason, and carefully considering available information and options. It is a structured approach to making decisions, and it aims to optimize outcomes and reduce the impacts of biases and emotions in decision-making. When a decision is preceded by rational thinking, the results are often a desired outcome and serve a greater good.

This article will review an example of how Lauren utilized rational decision-making.

Lauren is a successful freelancer who has had a particularly successful year in her career. There has been a surge in her clientele. While this is exciting, it also brings some challenges. Lauren needs to make a decision that will significantly shape her future. The surge in her clientele brings both exciting opportunities and challenging choices.

As the offers pour in, one particularly lucrative deal requires Lauren to transition from her cozy home office to a dedicated workspace. The international client offering this two-year contract needs regular face-to-face meetings on a video call, requiring investment in a professional work office with whiteboards and big screen monitors. She had previously worked from her one-room space, but now she needs to build a professional office space. This proposition coincides with a turning point in Lauren's aspirations.

Lauren was planning to purchase a luxurious car, symbolizing her success. The allure of a vehicle that mirrors her blossoming career beckons her. Yet, the decision looms as she realizes that committing to the needed professional office space means putting her automotive dreams on hold. Lauren is torn between two significant investments promising to enhance her professional and personal life. Here, the rational decision-making process becomes Lauren's guiding light.

The rational decision-making process typically involves several vital steps. 661677e0-b528-4088-9c7d-690f1b86b588.png

1. Defining the problem: First, Lauren needs to clearly define the issue, which is the decision between spending on office space for her growing clientele vs. Buying a luxurious car.

2. Identifying decision criteria: Next, Lauren determines the key factors influencing her decision, considering the long-term benefits of securing the international deal versus the immediate satisfaction of owning a prestigious car.

3. Weighing in the decision criteria: Lauren assigns a weight to each criterion, acknowledging the potential impact on her career trajectory and personal satisfaction.

4. Exploring alternatives: Lauren explores various scenarios, including negotiating with her clients for a compromise to accommodate their needs and fulfill her aspirations.

5. Evaluating alternatives: She objectively assesses the pros and cons of each alternative, weighing the consequences of delaying the car purchase against the potential gains from securing a long-term client commitment.

6. Selecting the best alternative: With a comprehensive analysis, Lauren makes an informed decision aligning with her goals and priorities.

7. Implementing the decision: Lauren takes the necessary steps to either sign the deal, negotiate terms, or pursue an alternative that suits her clients and satisfies her desires.

8. Monitoring and evaluating: With the decision put in action, Lauren stays vigilant, monitoring the outcomes and adjusting her approach to ensure continued success.

9. Learning and adjusting: Lauren reflects on the experience, learning valuable lessons about balancing professional growth and personal fulfillment. This newfound wisdom guides her future decisions as she navigates the evolving landscape of her freelance career.

By following the rational decision-making steps, Lauren transforms a challenging situation into a strategic choice that aligns with her goals and ensures a sustainable and fulfilling path forward.

Faced with the conflicting choices of building a dedicated office space or the allure of buying a luxurious car, Lauren embarked on a journey of introspection guided by the principles of rational decision-making. The weight of her decision hung in the balance, with the potential to shape her professional trajectory and personal satisfaction. After carefully considering the options and thoroughly evaluating the associated criteria, Lauren chose a path harmonizing with her overarching goals.

Recognizing the transformative potential of the international deal and the enduring impact it could have on her burgeoning career, she boldly decided to prioritize building a dedicated office space.

This choice, rooted in rational analysis, reflected Lauren's commitment to long-term success and her understanding of the sacrifices required for sustained growth. While Lauren temporarily put the luxurious car on hold, she embraced the opportunity to cultivate a thriving professional environment that would undoubtedly yield long-term gains, making her dreams of owning a luxurious car a reality soon enough.

In making this decision, Lauren demonstrated her business acumen, resilience, and foresight. The narrative of her freelance journey had evolved, and with this strategic move, she set the stage for continued prosperity. Lauren embraced her new professional chapter with a sense of purpose and the confidence that comes from deliberate decision-making. Lauren's success was not just about the projects she tackled or the words she penned; it was a testament to her ability to navigate complex choices with wisdom, ensuring a trajectory that promised financial gains and personal fulfillment.

In the grand tapestry of her freelance career, this decision stood out as a defining moment, a testament to Lauren's strategic thinking and unwavering commitment to building a legacy beyond the glossy allure of immediate rewards.

Rational decision-making is an important function especially in the Human Resources management area. This book on Rational Decisions in Organisations details the science and art behind it.

About The Author

Hadrat Ajao


Hello, I am Hadrat, a communication specialist and an article writer for Pitch Labs. I am passionate about street children and abandoned women, with a special focus on the African terrain. I enjoy writing poems and creative stories.

See more posts by Hadrat Ajao



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