Introduction to Lindbloom's Incremental Model

He opined that what actually occurs in administrative decision making is 'incrementalism' i.e. virtual continuation of previous activities with few modifications. It reduces political tensions and maintains stability. He says the past activities and experiences are used by administrators to make future decisions. He said policy makers accept the legitimacy of existing policies due to uncertainty of the new.

He used two concepts to describe decision making in administration:
  1. Marginal incrementalism: Limited, conservative policy
  2. Partisan mutual adjustment: Accomodation of divergent views and interests in particular situation.

Lindbloom's theory is a high on coherence and simplicity. Highly relative, pluralistic decision making system which has compromised incrementalism and continual adjustment.

Etizioni's Mixed Scanning Model

Combination of both Incremental Model and Bounded Rationality model. He agrees with Lindbloom's criticism of rational model but says Incremental

Model has two drawbacks:
  1. discourages social innovation so is partisan
  2. Cant be applied to fundamental decisions.

Also he believes that pluralistic decision models are biased because of pre existing inequalities in powers of participating interests and individuals.

Dror's Optimal Model

Dror criticised incremental as unsatisfactory and conservative. It creates gap between those with more power and less power. Dror's optimal model is a combination of economically rational model and extra rational model.

  1. Qualitative
  2. Contains rational, extra rational elements
  3. Its basic rational to economic rational
  4. Concerned with meta policy making
  5. Contains inbuilt feedback

  1. Meta policy making: Processing values, reality, problems, processes, design policy making system, reallocate resources, determine policy making strategy.
  2. Policy making: Establish , prioritize goals, prepare alternatives, identify best alternatives, decide whether they are feasible.
  3. Post policy making: Execute policy, evaluate it, use communication, feedback to all channels.

Dror pleads for adoption of best policy by a judicious evaluation of goals, values, alternatives, costs, benefits based on the maximum use of available information and scientific technology.