Is it Apprpopriate to Use the Objective, Rational Decision- Making Framework as a Foundation for Modelling Social Systems?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 22, p.17-27 (2007)


Heuristics., Objectivity, Rational-Analytic Decision Making Framework, Social Systems, Transparency


In general, the developers of Decision Support Systems (DSS) look for objectivity and the support of the rational choice. These guiding principles are rarely reflected upon because they are so successful for technical problems and within the humanities. However, the majority of DSS for military purposes—especially in the context of the new tasks related to transformation of the armed forces—have to deal with social systems. These systems differ significantly from systems with no human interaction. First, there is an irreducible amount of uncertainty about the cause-effect-relations in such systems, which leads to unpredictability of many phenomena. Second, there is also a non-negligible amount of uniqueness in each event that makes it extremely hard to find general rules, which may help to find reproducible behavior. Third, most events cannot be evaluated from an objective point of view since every evaluation depends on subjective criteria. In the quest for objectivity and using the Rational Analytical Decision-Making Framework (RADMF) easily leads to erroneously take personal assumptions for apodictic postulations, which are originally based on prejudice and dogmatism. It also often results in lack of critical discussion because an objectively-best solution can only be questioned outside the decision framework. Therefore, this article ad¬vises on the use of transparency instead of objectivity and of heuristic decision frameworks instead of the RADMF.
Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019