• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast rational and incremental models of policy making.

Extracts from this document...


Making Public Policy Assignment Compare and contrast rational and incremental models of policy making. Decision making is recognised as a fundamental activity of public administration. The debate of rational versus incremental models of policy making is could be viewed as a debate over alternative political systems and values. Rational decision making has a centralising bias, while incrementalism tends to favour representative and pluralist decision making. Additionally, the rational model tends not to favour any community contribution while incrementalism leans towards widespread popular participation in decision making. Despite their numerous differences, both techniques can work well or even fail, depending on the situation in which they are used. The rational model is aimed at maximising efficiency and 'net value achievement'. This means that all of the values of society are known and that any sacrifice in one or more values required by a policy is compensated for by attainment of other values. This definition could be viewed as interchangeable with the concept of efficiency - it comes down to more than money - all social, political and economic values have to be considered. Many techniques are employed to limit alternatives and to promote effective decision making; these include hierarchy, specialisation, premise controls and 'grid regulation'. ...read more.


Here stages of the policy process follow on from one another but the policy process does not terminate. Solutions define the context for the next problem; hence, the stages of policy process can be seen as a cycle.6 The incremental approach was originally proposed by the economist Lindloom and attempts to correct the imperfections of the rational model and to illustrate how policy decision-makers actually behave. He touts the advantages of a 'successive limited comparison mode over "the rational comprehensive method"'7. This perspective accepts that political objectives may be purposely kept unclear with the intention of building political consensus and support. He argued that decision makers do not annually review all existing and proposed policies, highlight societal goals and research costs, as suggested by the rational model as impractical. Instead they take an incremental approach in which there is slow evolution of policies by cautious incremental changes. The incremental approach is conservative in that existing policies, programs and expenditure are considered and attention is concentrated on new policies and on increases, decreases or modifications of established programs. Perhaps this suggests that they do not totally remake policy every time they make a 'policy-decision', but in its place modernise existing policy. ...read more.


or constituency; avoiding overly rigid adherence to rules; the oversimplification of reality; the over-quantification at the expense of qualitative factors; and, the reluctance to engage in policy and program evaluation and feedback. This policy model is effective where as the incremental option may not be as in the case of the Falklands. This method of policy making was and is still being used with the Europe issue - the stance being 'wait and see'. Incrementalism is a continuous, exploratory process and the policy makers tend to operate within an existing framework and adjust their position in light of any feedback. The whole issue of the Falklands illustrates the inability of Whitehall to plan any long term policy and make decisions. 1 Financial Times - 7th March 2001 2 Herbert Simon 1982, Page 66 3 Simon 1983 4 Psychology Review 63 - Rational choice and the structure of the environment 5 Making Public Policy - Lecture 7 - taken from Baybrooke and Lindboom (1963) 6 Making Public Policy - Lecture 6 - Rational Models of Policy Making 7 Public Administration Review - 'The Science of Muddling Through' by Charles Lindloom 8 Lindloom 1959 - Page 266 9 Lindloom 1959 - Page 226 10 Landing On Your Feet: How To Control Policy Problems - Chapter 8 11 http://www.uh.edu/~lnielsen/pdf_files/ps6314e1.PDF 12http://www4.gvsu.edu/josephe/gpy309/chapter1/The%2520Science%2520of%2520Muddling%2520Through.pdf Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Work section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay demonstrates a basic understanding of rational and incremental models of policy making. Some good points are made with regards to advantages and disadvantages but many of the points would be improved by using examples

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 25/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Social Work essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Inter-professional Practice and Safeguarding Children

    4 star(s)

    A great example of this is the âBaby Pâ scenario. Everybody was so horrified by what had happened to Peter Connelly and wanted to find somebody to blame. Services then took it in turn to push the blame onto somebody else as an easy way out and accusations of âBuck

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse the assessment process from your practice setting, with reference to underpinning theory, law, ...

    4 star(s)

    It is a way of organising our knowledge of service user situations in a 'person in environment' approach. An ecological perspective draws heavily on systems theory- a framework that analyses the complex reciprocal connections and interrelationship that exists between elements that make up the whole system, and other mutually influencing

  1. Free essay

    A critical essay on the policies that have been used to tackle obesity

    An image, with the intention to shock or scare, actually does influence an individual. (Templeton,2008 ). Working with food associated companies As part of this strategy, the government has managed to influence major companies, which supply products that are associated with unhealthy living, to pledge �200 million to support the campaign.

  2. Placement Case Study. I will examine my role in the identification, assessment and management ...

    has a right to choose her own partner and that this right should be respected and given consideration. For this reason, despite not having parental responsibility, R. was included in the process which followed. (KR4 Units 12.1; 12.2; KR 5 Unit 14.2; KR 6 Unit 19.3; GSCC COP).

  1. UK policies in relation to refugees and asylum seekers and the implications for social ...

    I phoned to NASS on their behalf. After waiting on the line for over 20 minutes the operator finally answered my call. Then I started explaining the problem. But as he did not listen to me carefully he cut off my speech by saying: "Listen!

  2. Gordon Brown has described child poverty as "a scar on the soul of Britain". ...

    It's definitely is a turnaround of a development of yearly augmenting child poverty rates that commenced in the 1980s and showed the way for Britain having one of the utmost child poverty percentages in the western world by the early part of the 1990s.

  1. Critically examine the impact that living with domestic violence can have upon children. What ...

    Children who are experiencing domestic violence may benefit from a range of support and services and some may be considered to be at risk of 'significant harm'. As previously highlighted, domestic violence is likely to have a damaging effect on the health and development of children and it may be

  2. Unit K/601/7629 Professional Organisational Issues In counselling assignment

    Rogers stated that 'Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self-directed behaviour; these resources can be tapped if a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided.' (Carl R. Rogers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work