A simulation study of organizational decision making under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity .
Athens, Arthur J.
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The usual frameworks applied to the analysis of military decision making describe the decision process according to the rational model. The assumptions inherent in this model. however, are not consistent with the reality of warfare's inherent uncertainty and complexity. A better model is needed to address the ambiguilty actually confronting the combat commander. The garbage can model of organizational choice, a nonrational approach to decision making, provides insight into how the elements of an organization interact under problematic conditions. A system simulation associated with the garbage can framework was adapted to model certain aspects of complex decision situations, providing a foundation for studying attention mechanisms like triggering, deadlines, and structural adaptations. The results and implications of this research apply not only to the military, but also to business and political organizations, as they too must often confront these conditions of uncertainty and complexity
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