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OR60 Stream - Behavioural OR

Stream Organiser

Sally Brailsford
(more information)




Stream Definition

Behavioural O.R. is about integrating insights from the behavioural sciences into O.R. theory and methods.  It can be seen as a parallel to Behavioural Economics which explores the psychological, social, emotional and cognitive aspects of human decision-making and the limits of so-called “rationality”. B.O.R was promoted by Geoff Royston during his period of office as president of the O.R. Society, forming the basis for his keynote talk at OR55 in Exeter. This has since led to the foundation of a Special Interest Group, co-chaired by two practitioners from different organizations (Phil Jones from DSTL and Dave Buxton from DSE Consulting) and one academic (Sally Brailsford).  We have already come up with several definitions of B.O.R. – how to include human behaviour in O.R. models, how analysts or clients understand models, or how O.R. models can influence or change human behaviour.   And others!  We welcome talks on any aspect of B.O.R., however you may choose to interpret the term, and are interested in theoretical or applied talks on any topic which has a behavioural element.  These include, but are definitely not limited to, agent-based modelling, “soft” O.R. methods such as cognitive mapping, and system dynamics; the use of experimental approaches in empirical O.R. studies to understand or improve human decision-making; O.R. as part of a change management process; and more broadly still, any O.R. application or case study where the model has tried to take account of human behaviour in some way.


Sally Brailsford 

Sally is Professor of Management Science at the University of Southampton. Sally has worked for over 25 years in the area of health O.R. She is chair of the EURO Working Group on OR Applied to Health Services (ORAHS) and is one of the Editors-in-Chief of the OR Society’s journal Health Systems. She has won the Society's Goodeve Medal three times; in 2005 for modelling emergency healthcare services in Nottingham, in 2007 for modelling chlamydia infection and in 2015 for modelling the dental workforce in Sri Lanka.


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