Author

Elena Tavella

Isabella Maria Lami

Year

2018

Keywords

Problem structuring, behavioural OR, urban planning, strategic choice approach, soft systems methodology

Abstract

Negotiating perspectives and values is at the core of using PSMs to tackle complex and uncertain problem situations. Exploring how such negotiations evolve at the micro-level of real-time interactions can help grasp communicative behaviours and workshop structures that influence negotiation processes, and the achievement of outcomes. This study reports on an exploratory experiment with three MSc student groups engaged in (i) a Soft Systems Methodology, (ii) a Strategic Choice Approach, and (iii) a non-problem structuring method workshop to make progress with a case of urban renewals. Our micro-level content analysis suggests that (no)model use can lead to three different dynamics in which participants discuss different perspectives and values, negotiate their meanings, create knowledge and agree on solutions to tackle the problem situation that are added to model content. Our findings contribute to increasing our understanding of the nature of soft OR and its effects on group interactions during workshops.

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