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Decision analysis and political processes

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journal contribution
posted on 23.04.2018, 13:48 authored by Simon French, Nikolaos ArgyrisNikolaos Argyris
Decision analysis has been with us for at least half a century. Over that time it has developed from a theoretical paradigm for individual rational choice to a practical tool for individuals, small groups and ‘unitary’ organisations, which helps them towards a sound decision-making mindful of the behavioural characteristics of individuals and group dynamics. Decision analysis has also shown its worth in the context of stakeholder engagement and public participation. The time is right for it to be more widely used in making societal decisions. However, to achieve that we need to realise that in many circumstances it will only be one input to the political process that leads to the actual decision. Recognising that suggests that our community of decision analysts needs to deconstruct our paradigm and attend more to communicating the result of the analysis in comparison with other inputs to the societal decision.


The ideas in this paper have developed over a number of years supported by several grants and contracts. Recent funders include Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant reference numbers EP/F001444/1 and EP/K007580/1, Research Councils UK under RELU contract RES 24-25-0090, and contracts relating to site selection for geological disposal from the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

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Decision Analysis


FRENCH, S. and ARGYRIS, N., 2018. Decision analysis and political processes. Decision Analysis, 15(4), pp. 195-267, C2-C3.




AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Decision Analysis and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/deca.2018.0374