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A study of systems analysis in the strategic planning decision process of an organization. Decisionmaking involves definition of objectives, laying out the structure underlying the decision and then generating the alternatives, evaluating them in terms of the objectives, and, ultimately, choosing among them. Systems analysis is a way of addressing strategic decision problems — those characterized by complexity and rapid changes in the environment — to emphasize explicitness, quantification wherever appropriate, and recognition of uncertainties, and to sharpen — rather than replace — the judgments of the decisionmakers. Two strategic decisions by the Department of Defense are documented and interpreted along the lines developed for how systems analysis and behavioral factors will interact in the decision process. Thirteen dimensions of the strategic decision process are suggested as a structure for describing the interactions of explicit policy analysis and bargaining considerations. However, the most useful role of theories of strategic decisionmaking is to suggest insights that analysts and decisionmakers can assimilate to improve their "feel" for dealing with such situations.

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