Alfred Schutz and Herbert Simon: Can their Action Theories Work Together?

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Abstract

This paper combines Alfred Shultz and Herbert Simon's theories of action in order to understand the grey area between dynamic and completely unstructured decision making better. As a result I have put together a specific scheme of how choice elements are represented from an agent's personal experience, so as to create a bridge between the phenomenological and cognitive-procedural approaches of decision making. I first look at the key points of their original models relating Alfred Schutz's “provinces of meaning” and Herbert Simon's “satisficing” mechanism. I then consider the particular concept of intentionality and reasoning by analogy for different choice settings. Finally I have suggested a perspective based on creative behaviour and sense-making for ill-structured conditions.

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