Problem Structuring Methods Special Interest Group
Problem Structuring Methods are a family of methods that apply modelling approaches to address messy or wicked problems faced by the managers of organizations. They seek to alleviate or improve situations characterised by uncertainty, conflict and complexity. Although the family of methods was described in Jonathan Rosenhead's 1989 book, Rational Analysis for A Problematic World, the special interest group will not limit itself to the approaches described there. It will embrace all other cognate interpretative model building approaches and decision science tools aimed at supporting groups in working through problems.
The PSM community is well established in the UK and Europe and was recognised by 2004 EPSRC sponsored international review of British O.R. as a “unique selling point of significant strength within the British O.R. research agenda”. This was reflected in a 2004 special issue of EJOR and a forthcoming special edition of JORS on PSMs. The PSM stream at OR46 attracted many papers and many attendees. PSMs are active subjects of innovative research in many UK universities including: Lancaster, Strathclyde, Hull, Warwick and LSE. They are well established in many firms and public sector organizations and the journal articles and conference papers illustrated this increasing impact.
The aims of the PSM Special Interest Group are to provide a forum which:
- Increases the understanding and practical use of PSMs amongst interested members of the broad community of the OR Society.
- Allows specialist PSM practitioners to explore the connections between PSMs and other MS/OR approaches.
- Explores the applicability of software to supporting PSM practice.
- Exchanges experience of teaching PSMs within higher education, and of training in the use of PSMs in industry, commerce and government.
- Support the work of research students exploring PSM themes.