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Two Methodologies Of Charles Lindblom In The Science Of Muddling Though

656 words - 3 pages

Charles Lindblom in the Science of Muddling Though identified two methodology in formulating policy - the Rational Comprehensive (Root) and Successive Limited Comparisons (Branch). There are numerous differences between the root and branch decision-making methods for policymaking; root (rational) decision-making starts from basic issues on every occasion and builds from the ground up, whereas branch (successive limited comparison) begins with the current situation and changes incrementally. The linear or rational model presents policy-making as a problem solving process which is sensible, objective and analytical. In the model, decisions are made in an orderly manner starting with the identification of a problem or issue then ending with a set of activities to solve or deal with it. Charles Lindblom is critical of the Rational Comprehensive Method (Root) of policy process as simplistic and difficult to apply when dealing with complex issues (Lindblom, 1959, p. 79). He advocates that there is logic of “muddling through” the process rather than identifying all the issues, collecting all the facts, determining the best strategy then evaluating the policy by analysing every significant factor. Lindblom argued that the Successive Limited Comparisons (Branch) method is superior in comparison to the root method. The root method assumes that the policymaker have perfect knowledge to make an informed decision. This can become a complex exercise as it is not easy to identify all the issues due to the number of stakeholders who have diverse and conflicting interests. It can be hard to gauge the electorate’s preference if the matter has not been open to public discussion. The root method requires the policymaker to determine the best strategy to address the problem by assigning values to each objective. Social and environmental values are difficult to quantify and achieve consensus. For example, for patients who uses bulk-billing, the proposed health policy co-payment of $6.00 for every visit to a General Practitioner will act as a financial disincentive for unnecessary visits to a doctor. It...

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