mixed scanning, rational-comprehensive and incremental theories

A policy decision in public policy and administration

A policy decision here includes any action by such officials or an agency that may implement, attempt to alter or even reject policy options. It includes individuals and organisations in the eve of public policy making, but in the end, policy making is taken over by the decisions taken by the formal authorities called "public officials" and they include legal individuals such as lawmakers and the company's administrative judges. Decisions made by such officials as executives appear to be ruminated to be legal as managers comply with the law's substantive requirements and procedures. Within the public policy and administration, there exists Rational Comprehensive, Incremental, and Mixed Scanning Theories (Dunn, 2015).

The rational-comprehensive theory

The famous rational-comprehensive theory borrows the views of economists and other people like the great mathematicians, social scientists, and even psychologists. This theory has six elements which it revolves around. According to scholars, the person bestowed with the work of decision making is threatened by problems that are amicably separable from other problems. Those set goals and objectives that help the decision-making process are known to the decision maker and clarification can be done on them as well as a ranking of the set values and goals executed in accordance with their importance. Through rational-comprehensive theory, various alternative ways in which to deal with the problem are scrutinized, and then the costs, accrued benefits or generally consequences that may follow after selecting that particular alternative are investigated in depth then a comparison is made among the current alternatives to get the best.

The incremental theory

On the other hand, increment theory has some few changes which can be said to be supplementing policies. Through this theory of "disjointed incrementalism," there is consideration of few alternatives by the policy maker that can deal with the problem in question. What is evaluated here is a limited number of important- like consequences and there exists incremental decision making essentially pegged on remedial, and it has a focus on ameliorating the present and some social imperfections rather than being concerned about promoting future social goals that are of importance. Arguably, it also allows redefining of the problem that is antagonizing the one making the required policies or decisions. In incremental theory, there exists no rightful solution to a problem but allows for adjustments. In the US, there exists a pluralist society which may involve policies and decisions made jointly, and this calls for it to be referred to as a policy which lacks intelligence and time in a bid to get the best policies and administration. Both of the theories banks on the interests of the people both underprivileged and the organized groups.

The mixed scanning theory

In mixed scanning, it combines the rational-comprehensive and incremental theories where it approaches on decisions and policies in high order. Ideally, it allows these theories to be of use in varied instances for the implementation of decisions. Therefore, it gives a balanced segment of both rational-comprehensive theory and incremental theory to give a better outcome of best policies and decisions. Essentially, it gives a combination of many ideas that comprise any decision-making process, and the underlying secret is to realize a better comprehension of the whole concept. Arguably, it needs much information to be able to have an effective decision arrived at. It varies with incremental since it does not need a remedial approach (Etzioni, 1967). This mixed scanning can put into use the broad-based analysis, unlike those other two theories. Mixed scanning can be applied in medical fields by physicians in the decision making. Managers also use it to being humble and efficient while making their decisions. In conclusion, mixed scanning is seen as less demanding and more comprehensive in broader comparison with rational-comprehensive and incremental theories.


  • Dunn, W. N. (2015). Public policy analysis. Routledge.

  • Etzioni, A. (1967). Mixed-scanning: a 'third' approach to decision-making

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price