disjointed incrementalism

disjointed incrementalism

a pattern of decision-making in organizations, identified by American political scientist Charles Lindblom, in which decisions are taken step by step as a problem unfolds. The various incremental stages of decision-making are not closely integrated with the preceding stages. Although this differs sharply from the rational-deductive ideal of decision-making (where a problem is fully identified at the outset, all relevant information is collected and finally a set of rational procedures is used to choose the appropriate course of action), Lindblom believed it was a sensible strategy for decision-makers. This is because the human capacity to absorb information is limited, perfect information is unavailable anyway, and it is difficult to determine at the outset what information is relevant. See ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS, ‘GARBAGE-CAN’ MODEL OF DECISIONMAKING.
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To those who say that the approach's situational analysis is not exhaustive, I'd like to point out that this is much better than the planning approach often practiced by most mayors today, which is characterized by the application of the nonrational version of Charles Lindblom's disjointed incrementalism, or the 'muddling through' planning approach.
The myopic strategy of disjointed incrementalism is to make relatively small reversible moves away from the status quo under the condition of low information about the consequences and costs of a decision.
Sample topics include disjointed incrementalism, punctuated equilibrium models, cost benefit analysis, queuing theory, and Confucian decision making.
Disjointed incrementalism is perceived as equivalent to the successive approximation to solving a problem, rather than exact computation, and is regarded as a practical, desirable and unavoidable adaptation to the impossibility of actually attaining the synoptic ideal.
Disjointed incrementalism bears a striking resemblance to the processual approach to organizational change.
In so doing we have drawn strong parallels with the model of disjointed incrementalism with its emphasis on incremental, reconstructive, serial and remedial decision making.
Even in ordinary English, the heuristic of satisficing is simpler than the heuristics of disjointed incrementalism.
In two of the most serious problems, disjointed incrementalism can cause (1) a majority of departments to recommend a series of proposals that will on average hurt each department or (2) a majority to reject a series of proposals that would on average help every department.
It is unclear, however, whether such sophistication is consistent with disjointed incrementalism.