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

Unfortunately due to illness we have had to postpone this event. A rescheduled date will be posted asap.

POSTPONED: Online Facilitated workshops during COVID: Our experience

Date: 11 January 2022, 16.00 - 17.00 - POSTPONED

About the Event

This talk provides an overview of our experience of participative problem structuring in the synchronous online workshop environment. In 2020, due to the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic and government-posed restrictions, where possible many organisations moved to remote working. This rendered all face to face workshops and meetings a health hazard. It has meant that we had to adapt our facilitation practice to support stakeholder groups in the online environment. At the time, many organizations needed to make crucial decisions in remote environments but lacked the expertise to manage the process and interactions in an effective way.  We discuss our experience as facilitators in working with organizations involving key workers in the online environment. Based on our experience we offer guidance to those interested in transitioning to online facilitation.


About the Speakers

KATHY KOTIADIS is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Management Science/Operational Research at the Kent Business School, University of Kent.  She graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Management Science and went on to do a PhD in Operational Research at the University of Kent. Her main research interests include Soft Systems Methodology, Discrete event simulation modelling applied to health care and the development of the simulation methodology through Problem Structuring Methods and facilitation. She is co-EiC for Health Systems (journal). Her email address is [email protected]

ANTUELA A. TAKO is a Reader in Operational Research at the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University. She holds a PhD in Simulation and an MSc in Management Science and Operational Research from the University of Warwick. Her research interests include the comparison of simulation approaches, facilitated and participative simulation modelling, conceptual modelling and health care modelling. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of the Operational Research Society, Health Systems Journal and Journal of Simulation. Her email address is [email protected].

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