The impact of group model building on behaviour
until further notice
London : Palgrave MacMillan
InKunc, M.; Malpass, J.; White, L. (ed.), Behavioral Operational Research: Theory, Methodology and Practice, pp. 213-241
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Kunc, M.; Malpass, J.; White, L. (ed.), Behavioral Operational Research: Theory, Methodology and Practice
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
Group model building refers to a process of building system dynamics models with decision makers, experts, and other stakeholders. Involving stakeholders in building system dynamics models has a long history going back several decades (Andersen, Vennix, Richardson, & Rouwette, 2007). In early studies participants were mainly asked to participate in order to bring their knowledge into the modelling process, contributing insights and data that often cannot be found in other data sources. Later it was recognised that clients who have an active role in setting the focus of a modelling project and building the model are likely to understand and accept results. A series of studies has addressed the impact of group model building on changes in participants’ knowledge and behaviour. Single case studies, going back to the 1960s, describe how a particular group of participants work on a specific problem, the insights that emerge and whether or not results were implemented. Recently these cases studies were contrasted and analysed in review papers. The general conclusion from these reviews is that group model building does lead to changes in knowledge and behaviour, but much remains unclear on the underlying mechanism. Modelling engagements focus on messy unstructured situations, and at the start of a project it is not clear which information is relevant for understanding what is going on. By jointly developing a model, a consistent picture of the situation gradually emerges. How model construction changes participants’ insights, and when and how participants translate insights into actions, are questions that researchers have begun to address. Group model building research has gradually shifted from a focus on changes in participant behaviour after the modelling project, to behaviour in modelling sessions.
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