Problem structuring methods ‘in the dock’: arguing the case for soft OR

Fran Ackermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Problem structuring methods (‘soft’ OR) have been around for approximately 40 years and yet these methods are still very much overlooked in the OR world. Whilst there is almost certainly a number of explanations for this, two key stumbling blocks are: (1) the subjective nature of the modelling yielding insights rather than testable results, and (2) the demand on users to both manage content (through modelling) and processes (work with rather than ‘on behalf’ of groups). However, as evidenced from practice there are also a number of significant benefits. This paper therefore aims to examine the case of Soft OR through examining the case for and against problem structuring methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-658
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2012


  • problem structuring
  • operational research


Dive into the research topics of 'Problem structuring methods ‘in the dock’: arguing the case for soft OR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this