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  • 1.
    Barros-Castro, Ricardo A.
    et al.
    Pontificia Univ Catolica Peru, Peru.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Hull, Sch Business, England; Victoria Univ Wellington, Victoria Business Sch, Wellington, New Zealand; Univ Canterbury, Sch Polit & Social Sci, New Zealand; Univ Queensland, Sch Agr & Food Sci, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.
    Pinzon, Luis
    Univ Los Andes, Dept Ind Engn, Bogota, Colombia.
    Systemic Intervention for Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning2015Ingår i: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 32, nr 1, s. 86-105Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a systemic intervention approach as a means to overcome the methodological challenges involved in research into computer-supported collaborative learning applied to the promotion of mathematical problem-solving (CSCL-MPS) skills in schools. These challenges include how to develop an integrated analysis of several aspects of the learning process; and how to reflect on learning purposes, the context of application and participants' identities. The focus of systemic intervention is on processes for thinking through whose views and what issues and values should be considered pertinent in an analysis. Systemic intervention also advocates mixing methods from different traditions to address the purposes of multiple stakeholders. Consequently, a design for CSCL-MPS research is presented that includes several methods. This methodological design is used to analyse and reflect upon both a CSCL-MPS project with Colombian schools, and the identities of the participants in that project. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • 2.
    Cronin, K.
    et al.
    Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd..
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering.
    Jackson, L. S.
    University of Victoria, Canada.
    Issues Mapping: A problem structuring method for addressing science and technology conflicts2014Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 233, nr 1, s. 145-158Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    There are new opportunities for the application of problem structuring methods to address science and technology risk conflicts through stakeholder dialogue. Most previous approaches to addressing risk conflicts have been developed from a traditional risk communication perspective, which tends to construct engagement between stakeholders based on the assumption that scientists evaluate technologies using facts, and lay participants do so based on their values. 'Understanding the facts' is generally privileged, so the value framings of experts often remain unexposed, and the perspectives of lay participants are marginalized. When this happens, risk communication methodologies fail to achieve authentic dialogue and can exacerbate conflict. This paper introduces 'Issues Mapping', a problem structuring method that enables dialogue by using visual modelling techniques to clarify issues and develop mutual understanding between stakeholders. A case study of the first application of Issues Mapping is presented, which engaged science and community protagonists in the genetic engineering debate in New Zealand. Participant and researcher evaluations suggest that Issues Mapping helped to break down stereotypes of both scientists and environmental activists; increased mutual understanding; reduced conflict; identified common ground; started building trust; and supported the emergence of policy options that all stakeholders in the room could live with. The paper ends with some reflections and priorities for further research.

  • 3.
    Johnson, M. P.
    et al.
    Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, United States.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Centre for Systems Studies, Business School, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom.
    Wright, J.
    Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, United States.
    Chichirau, G.
    Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, United States.
    Community Operational Research: Innovations, internationalization and agenda-setting applications2018Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 268, nr 3, s. 761-770Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 4.
    Johnson, Michael P.
    et al.
    Univ Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Hull, England.;Victoria Univ Wellington, New Zealand.;Univ Canterbury, Sch Polit & Social Sci, Christchurch, New Zealand.;Univ Queensland, Sch Agr & Food Sci, Brisbane, Qld, Australia..
    Chichirau, George
    Univ Massachusetts Boston, Boston, USA..
    Emerging trends and new frontiers in community operational research2018Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 268, nr 3, s. 1178-1191Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Community Operational Research (Community OR), and its disciplinary relation, Community-Based Operations Research, has an increasingly high profile within multiple domains that benefit from empirical and analytical approaches to problem solving. These domains are primarily concentrated within nonprofit services and local development. However, there are many other disciplines and application areas for which novel applications and extensions of Community OR could generate valuable insights. This paper identifies a number of these, distinguishing between 'emerging trends' (mostly in well-studied areas of operational research, management science and analytics) and 'new frontiers', which can be found in traditions not commonly oriented towards empirical and analytical methods for problem solving, where community-engaged decision modeling represents new ways of generating knowledge, policies and prescriptions. This paper will show how the exploration of emerging trends and new frontiers in Community OR can provide a basis for the development of innovative research agendas that can broaden the scope and impact of the decision sciences. D .

  • 5.
    Lowe, D.
    et al.
    Science and Technology Laboratory, Salisbury, United Kingdom.
    Oliver, P.
    Ministry of Defence, London, United Kingdom.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Ministry of Defence, London, United Kingdom; Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia .
    Yearworth, M.
    University of Exeter, United Kingdom.
    Evaluating how system health assessment can trigger anticipatory action for resilience2017Ingår i: Disciplinary Convergence in Systems Engineering Research, Springer International Publishing , 2017, s. 765-776Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2014, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory developed and implemented a novel approach to assess the system by which the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence delivers infrastructure projects and services. This approach brought together existing methods to constitute a hybrid problem structuring method that offered the potential to trigger anticipatory intervention by focusing on the health as opposed to the performance of this system. This paper revisits the initial assessment to examine whether use of the method has led to increased system resilience, and in particular to understand what it was about the method that helped to deliver benefits. Insights with regard to the structures and processes necessary to enable anticipatory action for resilience are presented. 

  • 6.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. University of Hull, UK; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Queensland, Australia .
    Moving beyond value conflicts: Systemic problem structuring in action2016Ingår i: OR58: The OR Society Annual Conference, 2016, s. 117-133Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Value conflicts can become entrenched in a destructive pattern of mutual stigmatization, which inhibits the emergence of new understandings of the situation and actions for improvement. In extreme cases, such patterns can even lead to violence. This paper offers a new systems theory of value conflict, which suggests the possibility of three different strategies for intervention using problem structuring methods: supporting people in transcending overly narrow value judgements about what is important to them; seeking to widen people's boundaries of the issues that they consider relevant; and attempting to challenge stereotyping and stigmatization by building better mutual understanding. Each of these three strategies is illustrated with practical examples from operational research projects on natural resource management in New Zealand.

  • 7.
    Midgley, Gerald
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering.
    Cavana, R. Y.
    Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington.
    Brocklesby, J.
    Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington.
    Foote, J. L.
    Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.
    Wood, D. R. R.
    Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.
    Ahuriri-Driscoll, A.
    School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury.
    Towards a new framework for evaluating systemic problem structuring methods2013Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 229, nr 1, s. 143-154Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Operational researchers and social scientists often make significant claims for the value of systemic problem structuring and other participative methods. However, when they present evidence to support these claims, it is usually based on single case studies of intervention. There have been very few attempts at evaluating across methods and across interventions undertaken by different people. This is because, in any local intervention, contextual factors, the skills of the researcher and the purposes being pursued by stakeholders affect the perceived success or failure of a method. The use of standard criteria for comparing methods is therefore made problematic by the need to consider what is unique in each intervention. So, is it possible to develop a single evaluation approach that can support both locally meaningful evaluations and longer-term comparisons between methods? This paper outlines a methodological framework for the evaluation of systemic problem structuring methods that seeks to do just this.

  • 8.
    Midgley, Gerald
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Hull, Business Sch, Ctr Syst Studies, Cottingham Rd, Kingston Upon Hull HU6 7RX, N Humberside, England.;Malardalen Univ, Sch Innovat Design & Engn, Eskilstuna, Sweden.;Victoria Univ Wellington, Victoria Business Sch, Wellington, New Zealand.;Univ Canterbury, Sch Polit & Social Sci, Christchurch, New Zealand.;Univ Queensland, Sch Agr & Food Sci, Brisbane, Qld, Australia..
    Johnson, Michael P.
    Univ Massachusetts, Dept Publ Policy & Publ Affairs, Boston, MA 02125 USA..
    Chichirau, George
    Univ Massachusetts, Dept Publ Policy & Publ Affairs, Boston, MA 02125 USA..
    What is Community Operational Research?2018Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 268, nr 3, s. 771-783Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Community Operational Research (Community OR) has been an explicit sub-domain of OR for more than 30 years. In this paper, we tackle the controversial issue of how it can be differentiated from other forms of OR. While it has been persuasively argued that Community OR cannot be defined by its clients, practitioners or methods, we argue that the common concern of all Community OR practice is the meaningful engagement of communities, whatever form that may take - and the legitimacy of different forms of engagement may be open to debate. We then move on to discuss four other controversies that have implications for the future development of Community OR and its relationship with its parent discipline: the desire for Community OR to be more explicitly political; claims that it should be grounded in the theory, methodology and practice of systems thinking; the similarities and differences between the UK and US traditions; and the extent to which Community OR offers an enhanced understanding of practice that could be useful to OR more generally. Our positions on these controversies all follow from our identification of 'meaningful engagement' as a central feature of Community OR. 

  • 9.
    Midgley, Gerald
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Queensland, Australia..
    Nicholson, John D.
    Sheffield Hallam Univ, England..
    Brennan, Ross
    Univ Hertfordshire,England..
    Dealing with challenges to methodological pluralism: The paradigm problem, psychological resistance and cultural barriers2017Ingår i: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 62, s. 150-159Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper calls for methodological pluralism in industrial marketing research. We discuss three challenges that proponents of methodological pluralism have to address if their practice is to be seen as credible: the paradigm problem; psychological resistance; and lack of cultural readiness to accept pluralism. We review the works of a variety of authors from other disciplines who have tackled these problems, and identify useful ideas to take forward into a model of learning. This addresses the paradigm problem by making it clear that no pluralist methodology can exist without making its own paradigmatic assumptions. It deals with psychological resistance by talking in terms of learning, starting from wherever the researcher is currently situated (a large knowledge base is not needed to begin practicing methodological pluralism). However, this model does not deal with the question of whether the time is right, culturally, for methodological pluralism. We argue that the time will be right when it is widely appreciated that methodological pluralism adds value to industrial marketing research practice. The next step for our research community must be the accumulation of a body of empirical evidence to demonstrate that this added value does or does not exist. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 10.
    Midgley, Gerald
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering.
    Pinzón, L. A.
    Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia .
    Systemic mediation: Moral reasoning and boundaries of concern2013Ingår i: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 30, nr 5, s. 607-632Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper outlines a new systemic mediation approach, based on the idea that the most important thing for many participants in mediation is to have their moral reasoning understood and appreciated. This is frequently more important to people than financial reparation. We compare our mediation approach with others to demonstrate that many previous approaches share the assumption that once the interests of a participant have been identified, these should not be questioned. In contrast, our systemic mediation approach encourages participants to explore their own and other people's moral frameworks to enable critical reflection on their interests. Indeed, the concept of an 'interest' can be reframed as the boundary that a participant uses to delimit his or her concerns, and boundaries can be shifted in response to moral reasoning. Our mediation approach aims to generate both personal insights and improvements in mutual understanding. The mediator plays a facilitative role but cannot be neutral: the morality of the mediator unavoidably influences his or her facilitative interventions. Therefore, personal reflection by the mediator on his or her own moral framework is essential, so that its influences can be made visible and the facilitator can thereby be held accountable for them in dialogue with his or her peers. Tools are provided in our systemic mediation approach to support reflection on moral frameworks and boundaries of concern, and a practical example of their use in Colombian mediation practice is provided.

  • 11.
    Midgley, Gerald
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom; Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, United States .
    Wilby, J.
    University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom; Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, United States.
    Learning across Boundaries: Exploring the Variety of Systems Theory and Practice2015Ingår i: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 32, nr 5, s. 509-513Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 12.
    Nicholas, Graeme
    et al.
    Inst Environm Sci & Res, Christchurch, New Zealand..
    Foote, Jeff
    Univ Otago, Otago, New Zealand..
    Kainz, Kirsten
    Univ N Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC USA. Univ Hull, Kingston Upon Hull, N Humberside, England..
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Queensland Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia.;Victoria Univ Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.;Univ Canterbury, Canterbury, New Zealand..
    Prager, Katrin
    Univ Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland..
    Zurbriggen, Cristina
    Univ Republica, Inst Ciencia Polit, Montevideo, Uruguay..
    Towards a heart and soul for co-creative research practice: a systemic approach2019Ingår i: Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, ISSN 1744-2648, E-ISSN 1744-2656, Vol. 15, nr 3, s. 353-370Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The language of co-creation has become popular with policy makers, researchers and consultants wanting to support evidence-based change. However, there is little agreement about what features a research or consultancy project must have for peers to recognise the project as co-creative, and therefore for it to contribute to the growing body of practice and theory under that heading. This means that scholars and practitioners do not have a shared basis for critical reflection, improving practice and debating ethics, legitimacy and quality. White seeking to avoid any premature defining of orthodoxy, this article offers a framework to support researchers and practitioners in discussing the boundaries and the features that are beginning to characterise a particular discourse, such as the one that is unfolding around the concept of co-creation. The paper is the outcome of an online and face-to-face dialogue among an international group of scholars. The dialogue draws on Critical Systems Heuristics' (Ulrich, 1994) questions concerning motivation (revealing assumptions about its purpose and value), power (interrogating assumptions about who has control and is therefore able to define success), knowledge (surfacing assumptions about experience and expertise) and legitimacy (disclosing moral assumptions). The paper ends by suggesting important areas for further exploration to contribute to the emerging discourse of co-creation in ways that support critical reflection, improved practice, and provide a basis for debating ethics and quality.

  • 13.
    Rajagopalan, R.
    et al.
    University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia .
    Knowing Differently in Systemic Intervention2015Ingår i: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 32, nr 5, s. 546-561Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper makes the case for extended ways of knowing in systemic intervention. It argues that the deployment of formal (even reflective) thinking and dialogue methods are inadequate, on their own, to the critical tasks of comprehending larger wholes and appreciating others' viewpoints. Theory and techniques need to go further and access other forms of knowing, held in experiential, practical or symbolic ways. This could offer a better basis to incorporate marginalized people and other phenomena that are affected by interventions but do not have a voice, such as ecosystems and future generations.

  • 14.
    Shen, C. -Y
    et al.
    Nanhua University, Taiwan.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. University of Hull, United Kingdom; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Queensland, Australia.
    Action research in a problem avoiding culture using a Buddhist systems methodology2015Ingår i: Action Research, ISSN 1476-7503, E-ISSN 1741-2617, Vol. 13, nr 2, s. 170-193Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Problem avoidance can be an issue in both Eastern and Western cultures, and in some Eastern contexts it can stem from the desire to promote organizational harmony: identifying problems can lead to blame, thereby fracturing harmonious relationships. The authors have developed and applied a Buddhist systems methodology (BSM) to counteract problem avoidance in Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. Unlike many Western action research approaches, which require participants to start by identifying problems or problematic situations, the BSM uses Buddhist concepts that are closely associated with the practice of harmonious living. Thus, it reframes problem exploration as the exercise of Buddhist discipline applied to organizational life, which is likely to be viewed as a co-operative and culturally valued endeavour. In a project with a large non-profit organization, the authors tackled a significant conflict and underlying issues. An evaluation of the project demonstrated that the BSM helped overcome the culture of problem avoidance. While the BSM itself might only be relevant to Buddhist organizations, there is a wider principle at work: when problem avoidance has cultural roots, action researchers could usefully look at how problem exploration might be reframed using a way of thinking that is culturally familiar and highly valued by the participants. 

  • 15.
    Torres-Cuello, M. A.
    et al.
    Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
    Pinzón-Salcedo, L.
    Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom; University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia .
    Developing a Systemic Program Evaluation Methodology: A Critical Systems Perspective2018Ingår i: Systems research and behavioral science, ISSN 1092-7026, E-ISSN 1099-1743, Vol. 35, nr 5, s. 538-547Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, there has been an increased interest within the program evaluation field in the introduction of systems thinking concepts. However, most of these introductions have been primarily directed towards supporting the practice of evaluation and not towards making theoretical advancements. This article is focused on introducing systems thinking, and specifically perspectives and concepts from the work in critical systems thinking (CST), at a theoretical level in the program evaluation field, towards a reframing of Fourth Generation Evaluation methodology. The process for carrying out such a reframing is introduced, as well as a description of the major changes produced in the evaluation methodology from incorporating the CST perspective. A new model is proposed, and how this model may be beneficial for conducting an evaluation is discussed. Finally, recommendations are made for future developments. 

  • 16.
    Ufua, Daniel E.
    et al.
    Covenant Univ, Dept Business Management, Coll Business & Social Sci, Idiroko Rd, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria..
    Papadopoulos, Thanos
    Univ Kent, Kent Business Sch, Chatham ME4 4TE, Kent, England..
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Univ Hull, Ctr Syst Studies, Sch Business, Cottingham Rd, Kingston Upon Hull HU6 7RX, N Humberside, England.;Malardalen Univ, Sch Innovat Design & Engn, Box 325, S-63105 Eskilstuna, Sweden.;Victoria Univ Wellington, Victoria Business Sch, POB 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.;Univ Canterbury, Sch Polit & Social Sci, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.;Univ Queensland, Sch Agr & Food Sci, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia..
    Systemic Lean Intervention: Enhancing Lean with Community Operational Research2018Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 268, nr 3, s. 1134-1148Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores how theory and methodology from Community Operational Research (Community OR) can enhance Lean initiatives. We are driven by the paucity of the literature discussing the involvement of non-obvious stakeholders, particularly local communities, in the adoption of Lean. We present a project undertaken with a food production company in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, where we employed a Systemic Intervention methodology to integrate theory and methods from Community OR with those from Lean. Based on this example, we argue that the inclusion of community representatives is necessary if Lean waste-reduction initiatives are to benefit both organizations and their local communities. Our only proviso is that, in the spirit of Community OR, the involvement of community representatives must be meaningful, so change is agreed through stakeholder engagements that respect their inputs and framings, and do not result in organizations imposing unwanted 'solutions' on communities. The paper ends with some reflections on the added value that Community OR can offer Lean practitioners. 

  • 17.
    Velez-Castiblanco, Jorge
    et al.
    Univ EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia.
    Brocklesby, John
    Victoria Univ Wellington,Wellington, New Zealand.
    Midgley, Gerald
    Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för innovation, design och teknik, Innovation och produktrealisering. Victoria Univ Wellington,Wellington, New Zealand; Univ Hull, UK; Univ Canterbury, Zew Zealand; Univ Queensland, Brisbane, Australia .
    Boundary games: How teams of OR practitioners explore the boundaries of intervention2016Ingår i: European Journal of Operational Research, ISSN 0377-2217, E-ISSN 1872-6860, Vol. 249, nr 3, s. 968-982Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    An operational research (OR) practitioner designing an intervention needs to engage in a practical process for choosing methods and implementing them. When a team of OR practitioners does this, and/or clients and stakeholders are involved, the social dynamics of designing the approach can be complex. So far, hardly any theory has been provided to support our understanding of these social dynamics. To this end, our paper offers a theory of 'boundary games'. It is proposed that decision making on the configuration of the OR approach is shaped by communications concerning boundary judgements. These communications involve the OR practitioners in the team (and other participants, when relevant) 'setting', 'following', 'enhancing', 'wandering outside', 'challenging' and 'probing' boundaries concerning the nature of the context and the methods to be used. Empirical vignettes are provided of a project where three OR practitioners with different forms of methodological expertise collaborated on an intervention to support a Regional Council in New Zealand. In deciding how to approach a problem structuring workshop where the Regional Council employees would be participants, the OR team had to negotiate their methodological boundaries in some detail. The paper demonstrates that the theory of boundary games helps to analyse and describe the shifts in thinking that take place in this kind of team decision making. A number of implications for OR practitioners are discussed, including how this theory can contribute to reflective practice and improve awareness of what is happening during communications with OR colleagues, clients and participants. 

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