Decision-Making in National Security Affairs: Toward a Typology.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis examines theories and models of decision-making processes from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a view toward deriving means by which the behavior of a given actor in the national security arena might be systematically fitted to an available model of decision, for purposes of description, explanation, andor prediction. The principal models explored are those generically labeled analytic, cognitive, and cybernetic. The operational code construct is proposed as a concise means to depict the central beliefs which guide decision-making behavior and thus suggest modeling parameters. The code is operationalized by the assignment of value continuua along dimensions reflecting its content, which ultimately combine to form an operational code profile. The profile is then heuristically reduced by inferences of relative centrality and interdependence of component beliefs to a minimum essential set. Representative profiles are devised to reflect the ideal characteristics corresonding to each of the models under investigation. Three national security decision-makers whose operational codes have been studied are selected for analysis. Operational code profiles are developed for Secretaries of State Byrnes, Acheson, and Dulles, and conformance noted with those of the cybernetic, analytic, and cognitive decision-maker, respectively. The thesis concludes that a typology of decision-making based upon the operational code profile furnishes a potentially useful methodology for the analysis of national security decision-makers and decisions.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science