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Title: Rationality through conflict and confrontation : an alternative to the traditional rational-choice approach with illustrations from decision-making in British Airways.
Author: Reinhold, Andreas J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3513 4701
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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The present thesis proposes that conflict and confrontation can, under certain conditions, lead to judgementally rational systemic action in cases where the assumptions of the traditional rational-choice approach are not satisfied. For this purpose, the concept of rationality in economIc sCIences and in particular in Operational Research is examined. Five types of rationality emerge: conceptual, logical, procedural, instrumental and judgemental rationality. Logical rationality guides the rationalchoice approach. The fact that logically rational action increasingly appeared to be judgementally irrational led to radical criticisms of the rational-choice approach in recent decades. Such criticisms, however, tend to discard valuable intellectual investments into the rational-choice approach. In an attempt to develop a less radical response, the assumptions underpinning the rationalchoice approach will be examined in Chapter 3. They will be referred to as the traditional paradigm. We will within the traditional paradigm differentiate between the assumption that seven action-relevant detenninants exist, and that system-wide values have - implicitly or explicitly - been assigned to them. The set of detenninants comprises the systemic utility function, the time discounting function, the social welfare function and model boundaries. A second group comprises estimates about strategic and natural uncertainty and the side effects of decision processes. The existence assumption will remain unchallenged in the present thesis. In many real-world situations, however, the assignment assumption is not satisfied. In such cases, the rationalchoice approach is inapplicable (although it is frequently still app/ied). Chapter 4 conjectures that conflict and confrontation, i.e. adversary processes, can provide an alternative. Conditions of beneficial conflict and confrontation will be derived from Habermas' theory of communicative action. The hypothesis is put to an empirical test. Chapters 5 and 6 describe examples of conflict and confrontation that occurred within British Airways. This evidence tends to support the hypothesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies