Skip to main content

Choosing and Combining Problem Structuring Methods in Practice

Christie, Jane S. (2017) Choosing and Combining Problem Structuring Methods in Practice. In: 21st Triennial Conference of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS 2017), 17-21 July 2017, Québec City, Canada. (Unpublished) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:90277)

PDF (Presentation slides) Presentation
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only

Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Presentation slides]
Official URL:


When OR practitioners address complex strategic issues with organizations, they often combine problem structuring methods (PSMs) such as soft systems methodology with other methods. It has been argued that this mixing of methods, or multi-methodology, is needed to address dynamic, multi-dimensional and uncertain problem situations across different intervention phases, and to enhance and corroborate findings. However, empirical evidence of how analysts make method decisions and of the effectiveness of multi-methodological practice across methods and interventions appears to be limited. In this presentation I shall review preliminary results from current research into how PSMs and other methods are and could be chosen and combined by practitioners in order to benefit from multi-methodology. First, I shall review results from a literature review exploring its prevalence, forms and theoretical frameworks. Second, I shall describe an ongoing empirical exploration of the use and effectiveness of multi-methodology across multiple practitioners and decision support interventions using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, workshops and secondary data review. I shall conclude by using theoretical guidance and practical insights to propose future directions for research into the practice of PSMs.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Other)
Projects: Executive Decision Making in Complex and Dynamic Environments
Additional information: Presentation 3 in 'Understanding the practice of problem structuring methods' invited session, HA-06, Thursday 20 July 2017, 8:30-10:00, room 204A, in 'Problem structuring interventions' stream. Chair: Mike Yearworth.
Uncontrolled keywords: soft operational research, behavioural operational research (BOR), systems thinking, decision-making, methodological pluralism, multimethodology, mixed methods, process of OR, strategy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (
Depositing User: Jane Christie
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 10:08 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2022 09:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Christie, Jane S.:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.