Rational Analysis for a Problematic World: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty and Conflict, 2nd Edition

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9780471495239: Rational Analysis for a Problematic World: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty and Conflict, 2nd Edition

Now, more than ever, planning and managing in the real world is beset by change and uncertainty. Knowledge is incomplete, values are in dispute, decisions of others are often unpredictable. Sheathed in opaque technicalities, inflexible and over-ambitious, the highly mathematical methods of analysing problem situations are no longer considered acceptable. In their place a coherent alternative paradigm has emerged- a range of formal methodologies which aim not to produce 'optimal' solutions but to facilitate an enriched decision-making process. 'Low-tech' transparent and participatory, these methods assist in the formulation and reformulation of problem solving in an uncertain world.
This fully revised and updated book brings together contributions from some of the great thinkers on this subject. The authors present the most influential methods (each illustrated with a case study), describe the principles on which the method operates, the step and the stages of analysis, and how these methods relate to the decision making process. The concluding section explores future developments and research issues, as well as links with other relevant domains.

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From the Back Cover:

Planning and management is increasingly problematic in the real-world environment of spiralling change and uncertainty. Knowledge is incomplete, values are in dispute and the decisions of others are often unpredictable.

Problem structuring methods (PSMs) are now widely accepted within Operational Research and the systems movement, and have generated an impressive record of high-profile applications. This new edition provides easier access to PSMs. Each of five methods is presented from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The justification for each approach is explained, and an illustration of applying each method is given in a practical case study. New topics in line with the many advances in the field of problem structuring methods are explored and multimethodology is introduced for the first time.

This book does not peddle methods for optimum solutions, but instead shows you how to facilitate an enriched and fluid decision-making process. Participatory methods are explained to assist the formulation and re-formulation of problem solving in an uncertain world.

Offering contributions from leading thinkers in the field and building on the success of the first edition, this theoretical guide and practical source will prove invaluable to students of management, systems and OR and to practitioners negotiating real-life problems in today's complex, conflicting and uncertain business climate.

Reviews of the first edition:

'.....probably the most referenced book by JORS authors over the last 10 years.'
J. Ranyard, Journal of Operational Research Society 51 (12), 2001

' . . . a thought provoking collection of articles, delivering a strong message about the way decision analysis is moving.'
Helen Couclelis, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

' . . .sets out extremely clearly what soft OR is about . . . the editor and authors deserve all credit.'
M.C. Jackson, Systems Practice

Review:

"...I have no hesitation in recommending the text to anyone interested in the current state of theory and practice..." (Systems Research & Behavioural Science, July/August 2002)

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