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Applying a Context and Action Framework to Evaluate the Interactions between the Context, Content, and Process of Problem Structuring Methods

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adrian SmallORCiD


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Understanding the practice of problem structuring methods and multimethodology has been a persistent theme within the literature. Whilst approaches have been put forward, this question is still relevant and remains a key focal point within the debate. Due to the many problem structuring methods available and the many configurations that they have and which can be combined, it is not surprising the question persists. Studies that have applied problem structuring methods to practice usually apply some form of evaluation, but these evaluations primarily focus on the methods themselves, and how successful they have been in tackling the problem situation. This work draws on a management studies framework that looks at the context, content, and process of strategic change, and applies it to two case studies in order to understand the practice of using problem structuring methods. The framework is used to look at the domain holistically, as the problem structuring methods literature has identified that interventions are not sequential, orderly, or linear in nature as well as having to take stakeholders, socio-political, and organizational routines and norms into account. By drawing on this framework and tracing the interactions between the context, content, and process, it is proposed that a better understanding can be obtained of problem structuring methods in practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Small A, Wainwright D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 29th European Conference On Operational Research (EURO 2018)

Year of Conference: 2018

Online publication date: 08/07/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Publisher: European Association of Operational Research Society