The rational organizational paradigm is centred upon the notion of rationality as the guiding force of the organization, with rationality being equated to efficiency in that efficiency “is often used as a virtual synonym for rationality.” (Simon et al, 1950:490). The administration of an organization will be good and correct if the modus operandi of the organization is such that it can “accomplish its work efficiently.” (Simon 1946:64). The notion of rationality under this model comprises two elements – limited and bounded rationality, although both involve cognitive processes. This model also holds that the authority framework within the organization is influenced by the decisions of individuals and this administrative rationality is dependent upon the use of means to achieve the desired ends, with the rationality of individuals in achieving the ends also being dependent on the cognitive reasoning processes. Simon holds means-ends thinking to be “a key component of human problem-solving skill” (Simon, 1991:220), hence means-ends rationality is an integral part of this organizational paradigm.
The management of the organization holds the required authority to make decisions and according to Simon, the exercise of authority within an organization occurs such that an individual “allows his decisions to be guided by decision premises provided him by some other person.” (Smith, 1976:xx). Hence all decision making within the organization is in the hands of management and individual behaviour and performance within the organization are to be geared towards the achievement of the organizational objectives. this constitutes rational individuals. The administration and efficient operation of the organization is measured in terms of its impact upon the performance outcomes, specifically in the area of costs savings. (Simon, 1976).The major objective is to achieve the desired objectives with as much efficiency in operations as possible and this efficiency is to be “the guiding criterion” of the organization. (Simon, 1946:62). .