Problem Structuring Methods


Problem Structuring Methods are a family of methods that apply modelling approaches to address messy or wicked problems faced by the managers of organisations.

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 does not limit itself to the approaches described there. It embraces all other cognate interpretative model building approaches and decision science tools aimed at supporting groups in working through problems.

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 OR community. It allows specialist PSM practitioners to explore the connections between PSMs and other MS/OR approaches and examines the applicability of software to supporting PSM practice. The group also promotes the exchange of experiences of teaching PSMs within higher education, of training in the use of PSMs in industry, commerce and government and supports the work of research students exploring PSM themes.

Committee details

Christina Phillips
Co Chair
Martin Parr
Co Chair
15. Facilitating the Revision of AYME’s Strategy.jpg

Come to our next event

Benefits of keyword analysis in change management

Date: 16 June 2022, 17.00 - 18.00

For years now, many companies across different industries have focused on agile transformations to become more reactive to quickly changing markets and customer needs. While business agility may take different forms in different companies, its core concepts are mostly shared, such as an agile mindset, empowered teams, transparency, rapid decision cycles, and a people model based on purpose and autonomy. The wide circulation of these concepts through a growing body of literature, trainings, social media platforms makes them appear familiar and concrete. Yet, many of them tend to remain elusive for leaders, change agents and associates alike once they are introduced into an organization.


In this presentation, Paula Haas will share her experience as a change manager supporting a large-scale agile transformation and show what impact the unacknowledged vagueness of certain terms can have on the transformation process, collaboration, and individual well-being. She will present some of the approaches that she and her colleagues designed to operationalize such terms and make a plea for using insights gained from “keyword analysis” to help organizations go through transformation processes more efficiently.

About the Speaker 

Paula Haas has several years of experience as a business consultant, change manager and coach. She currently works as an Expert for Change Management and Organizational Development for the Robert Bosch AG in Switzerland. In this role, she supports large-scale reorganization projects, cultural transformation processes, as well as leadership and team development.


Before joining the corporate world, she earned her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge with research on trust and cooperation in Inner Mongolia (People’s Republic of China), and still draws extensively on anthropological insights to solve very practical collaboration challenges in the business context.

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