Essay Sample on Two Conflicting Decision-Making Paradigms

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1145 Words
Date:  2023-01-16


Decision-making paradigms determine the types of decisions or solutions that people come up with during the process of addressing a situation. Paradigms are thought processes that people follow in arriving at a decision. They are known to have a significant impact on the approach taken when making a decision. Every decision-making paradigm gives an individual a way to choose a suitable course of action depending on the objectives in mind (Allen, Coates, & Woods, 2010). However, there are scenarios where two or more paradigms may apply, and the leader comes up with different decisions to address the situation. Some of these situations may apply conflicting decision-making paradigms. In such a case, it would be problematic for the leader to ascertain the best course of action to address the problem at hand. In this essay, I will be describing a situation that would be problematic for me as a leader to apply two decision-making paradigms that are conflicting with the respective course of action prescribed for each and explain why such disagreements may arise.

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The event of war requires a leader to take a course of action that will address the problem. However, it would be problematic for me as a leader to address the situation since I may need to achieve a middle ground of peace between the involved parties. On the other hand, I may be forced to lead the troop in fighting back. The situation raises the question of which solution to choose to deal with the war situation in an effective manner.

Two Conflicting Decision-Making Paradigms in Way

In the event of war, two different decision-making paradigms will entail applying the humanitarian principle and the practical approach. The humanitarian policy will be useful in making a decision that promotes peace between the involved parties. The practical approach will entail mobilizing my followers to conform to the other party. In that case, this decision paradigm will favor way instead of promoting peace. However, it will provide a lasting solution to the situation when the stronger party wins the day.

The Humanitarian Principle

In a war situation, the humanitarian principle will require applying a solution that opposes the war condition and seeks ways of achieving a middle ground acceptable for both parties. Humanitarian law supports the need to promote shared humanity among people. As a leader in a war situation, applying the humanitarian law will require bringing the parties together after fighting, killing, as well as maiming each other to exchange apologies, greetings and help one another overcome the injuries. In his study, Fast (2016) established that the German and Allied Soldiers applied the humanitarian principle to settle for peace among the troops. After many of them had fought, maimed and killed each other, they came up with a resolution to exchange gifts and greeting, collected and buried the dead as well as singing Christmas songs.

The humanitarian principle in dealing with the war situation calls for the leader in providing an ideal concept of humanity. It is necessary to reject the differences between parties and appeal to a common ground that defines people's identity as human beings. In war, the humanity principle will become the core if at all, the leader wants to achieve peace between the people in the battle (Fast, 2016). Plato's philosophy considers humanity as a principle that promotes justice for everyone. The effort to pursue justice becomes a human virtue where a person is concerned with achieving the good (Bhandari, n.d). In Stuart Mill's utilitarianism, an action is moral if it brings about the highest good to the most considerable number of people. The humanitarian principle maximizes the highest good to the most significant number of people. Therefore, in the event of war, a leader must remain self-conscious to achieve harmony and enjoyable for everyone in society. Peace is the ultimate justice and a humanitarian endeavor that the leader will mobilize the followers to accomplish at the end of the war by protecting life and alleviating suffering.

The Practical Approach

The practical approach to addressing the war situation will require supporting the war and take a course of action that favors conflict between or among the involved parties. If it is the only option remaining to deal with the war situation and bring about justice and social welfare, then, the practical approach will be applicable to provide a solution to the war. Kant's philosophy, the categorical imperative, will oppose the action of promoting confrontation as a leader when addressing a war situation. Immanuel Kant held that people should act in a manner that can become a universal law (Bowie, 2018). The end does not justify the means and that the consequence of an action does not guarantee its morality. A moral activity must be inherently good and should not be considered as useful due to its effects. In a war situation, even though confrontation will achieve an ultimate solution, it is a wrong action whose end does not justify the means. As a rational agent, the leader should not promote war to address a battle situation even if the end achieves justice and social welfare.

Why Such Deep Disagreement's Arise

When a scenario uses two conflicting decision-making paradigms, such deep disagreements arise because of the set objectives of the leader and how decisions take place based on the model followed in arriving at the ultimate solution. When a leader chooses a particular paradigm for making the decision, there are specific objectives set in mind. For instance, applying the humanitarian principle means that the ultimate goal of the leader is to achieve peace among the parties. However, the option of promoting war by applying the practical approach will mean that the leader was forced by circumstances to use the paradigm even though it contradicts with the leaders' intention to make such a decision to promote confrontation.


In conclusion, a war situation would render it problematic for a leader to arrive at an ultimate solution. It would require applying different decision-making paradigms depending on the objective and the only option remaining to achieve justice and social welfare. In the given scenario, the humanitarian principle and practical approach are two different paradigms that the leader applied in recommending a course of action. However, the deep disagreements in the two methods are as a result of specific goals held in mind and contradicting intentions of the leader.


Allen, C., Coates, B., & Woods, G. (2010). Strategic decision-making paradigms: A premier for senior leaders. In Stephen J. Gerras (ed.), Strategic leadership primer. Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College.

Bhandari, D. (N.d). Plato's concept of justice: An analysis. Ancient Philosophy. Retrieved from

Bowie, A. (2018). Aesthetics and subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche. Open Access. Manchester University Press. ISBN: 9781526137234

Fast, L. (2016). Unpacking the principle of humanity: Tensions and implications. International Review of the Red Cross, 97(897/898), 111-131.

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