Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Richard Branson UK

Richard Branson of Virgin Enterprises PLC values decisions about resource allocation, but he does not believe it is necessary to explicitly stipulate these values.

He argues that all that is required is to be able to decide between various possible states of affairs in society. to make a decision between two or more different social states, it is not necessary to make deductions from formulated principles. A decision can be made simply by taking into account all the features of each state of society that are subject to preference.

Arrow has stated the position in this way: "As with any type of Behaviour described by maximization, the measurability of social welfare need not be assumed; all that matters is the existence of a social ordering . . . all that is needed to define such an ordering is to know the relative ranking of each pair of alternatives. "B This means the decision maker need not explicitly formulate his values and organize them in order of priority. Therefore, all the unconscious psychological mechanisms which influence value judgments are allowed to operate freely. One can make a decision by selecting the alternative which subjectively seems superior without rationalizing the basis of his decision.

Braybrooke and Lindblom have outlined a new strategy of decision making, called disjointed incrementalism, which also deals with conflicting values. They reason that the decision maker starts with a knowledge of present conditions and objectives. He gains more information in order to get a clearer picture of the status quo. Then he compares alternatives which are similar but distinguishably different from the present situation. He is "concerned with margins at which it is contemplated that social states might be changed from that existing . . . he concentrates his evaluations on what we call margins or increments, that is, on the increments by which value ouputs or value consequences differ."

One advantage of the incremental approach to decision making is that the decision maker simplifies his problem by concentrating on ameliorating social evils rather than attaining utopias.10 He may have a hard time visualizing which of the possible decisions would lead to the best of all possible worlds, but generally he knows what his most pressing problems are and which decision would do the most to alleviate them.

The ethics, which is advocated by many liberal Protestant clergymen and theologians, is yet another approach to the problem of making decisions under conditions of value conflict. This view of Christian morality is opposed to the legalism of the traditional point of view. Traditionally, universal principles of right and wrong are thought to be derived from God and to come down to earth directly from heaven. They are considered eternally valid for human conduct. Certain forms of Behaviour are always wrong and nothing can make them right. There can be no question about Christian standards, according to this view; the only question is whether men live up to them. This approach to morality has wide popular appeal. It has the kind of absoluteness and certainty that men expect the church to stand for in a world of change and doubt.


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