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Bounded Rationality and the Politics of Muddling Through

John Forester
Public Administration Review
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1984), pp. 23-31
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/975658
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/975658
Page Count: 9
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Bounded Rationality and the Politics of Muddling Through
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Abstract

Doing what is practical and rational depends upon the context one is in. Theories of administrative rationality can be usefully and systematically organized once their assumptions about the practical context of action and decision making are recognized. James March's and Herbert Simon's notion of "bounded rationality" contributed an important measure of realism, while raising significant further questions. This essay further develops the analysis of the boundedness of rational administrative action first to distinguish distinct types of constraints and bounds and second to identify the correspondingly distinct practical strategies of administrative action that may be taken in response to such decision-making conditions.

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