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

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

Jonathan Rosenhead (Editor), John Mingers (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-471-49523-9 November 2001 386 Pages


In Stock



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.




A New Paradigm of Analysis (Jonathan Rosenhead and John Mingers).

SODA -- The Principles (Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann).

SODA -- Journey Making and Mapping in Practice (Fran Ackermann and Colin Eden).

Soft Systems Methodology (Peter Checkland).

Soft Systems Methodology in Action: Participative Creation of an Information Strategy for an Acute Hospital (Peter Checkland).

The Strategic Choice Approach (John Friend)

Gambling with Frozen Fire? (Allen Hickling).

Robustness Analysis: Keeping Your Options Open (Jonathan Rosenhead).

Robustness to the First Degree (Jonathan Rosenhead).

Drama Theory and Confrontation Analysis (Peter Bennett, Jim Bryant and Nigel Howard).

The M&A Play: Using Drama Theory for Mergers and Acquisitions (Nigel Howard).

An Overview of Related Methods: VSM, System Dynamics and Decision Analysis (John Mingers and Jonathan Rosenhead).

Multimethodology -- Mixing and Matching Methods (John Mingers).

Mixing Methods in Practice (Richard Ormerod).

Diverse Unity: Looking Inward and Outward (John Mingers and Jonthan Rosenhead).

"…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)
  • Brings together contributions from the most influential thinkers, including Checkland and Eden.
  • Combines theory and practice and updated methods.
  • Includes case studies in every chapter.