>Rational Decision Making and Enterprise Architecture

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In the book Images of Organization by Gareth Morgan, the Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon is cited as exploring the parallels between human and organization decision making, as follows:
Organizations can never be completely rational, because their members have limited information processing abilities…people

  • usually have to act on the basis of incomplete information about possible courses of action and their consequences
  • are able to explore only a limited number of alternatives relating to any given decision, and
  • are unable to attach accurate values to outcome

…In contrast to the assumptions made in economics about the optimizing behavior of individuals, he concluded that individuals and organizations settle for a ‘bounded rationality’ of a good enough decision based on simple rules of thumb and limited search and information.”

While EA provides a way ahead for the organization, based on Herbert Simon explanation, we learn that there is really no 100% right answers. Organizations, like individuals, have limited ability to plan for the future, since they cannot adequately analyze potential outcomes of decisions in an uncertain environment with limited information.

Architects and the organizations they serve must recognize that the best laid plans are based on bounded rationality, and there is no “right” or “wrong” answers, just rational planning and due diligence.

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