Experiences of mixed method OR Practitioners: moving beyond a technical focus to insights relating to modelling teams

Fran Ackermann, Susan Howick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Complex, real-world problems often benefit from being tackled using multiple OR methods. The ability to combine methods successfully therefore plays a key role in successful OR practice. The research described in this paper aims to augment current understanding of mixed methods modelling, moving beyond the predominant focus on technical aspects of which methods to use and how they can be combined. As such the research sought to explore the practice of mixed methods from the perspective of those with mixed methods experience to reflect on all aspects of a modelling intervention and identify generic lessons. The research involved a series of in-depth interviews with experienced OR practitioners (both academic and non-academic) to understand how they undertake mixed methods work. The paper describes the research methodology employed, the emergent data and the results of the analysis. The analysis reveals that an area of significance hitherto only peripherally addressed was consideration of the modelling team particularly a) additional skills, b) organisational culture and modeller personality and c) the role of the team leader. The paper concludes with some avenues for further exploration regarding teaching, research, and the practice of OR mixed methods work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Operational Research Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • mixing methods
  • modelling teams
  • practice of OR

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