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Title: On exploring the communicative impact of facilitated modelling during strategic group decision making : an interaction analysis study
Author: Afordakos, Orestis G.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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Well into the 21st century strategic decisions remain at the forefront of organisational managerial activity. The ever increasing complexity and uncertainty of the modern world dictates the need for effective strategic decision making. In the attempt to pool together the necessary capabilities strategic decisions in large organisations take place in group settings thus bringing at the forefront the role of group decision making. Group decision making is fundamentally a communicative activity riddled with the intricate processes of negotiation. With negotiation comes conflict with group participants’ differences over perspectives and worldviews being viewed as the fundamental cause of it. Not all conflict is destructive. Benefits are also to be reaped if conflict is managed effectively. A number of techniques and methods have emerged in the field of the Management Sciences and Information Systems that intent to alleviate the destructive and promote the productive aspects of conflict. One technique that follows a rational approach to decision making and incorporates strong elements of facilitation and qualitative modelling has been termed as Facilitated Modelling (FM). The key distinction between FM and other approaches is the use of qualitative models as transitional objects argued to enhance the effectiveness of group conflict management. In the past two decades numerous calls for evaluating the impact FM models may have on conflict have been made with little to no response. This thesis is an exploratory attempt to offer partial insights and inform these calls. The theoretical perspective of Adaptive Structuration Theory acted as the under-bed guiding this exploration. The exploration adopted a multiple case study approach as the methodological avenue for collecting data. Interaction data derived from three workshops, during which strategic decisions were made, have been micro-coded and analysed using both statistical as well as flexible mapping techniques. The results revealed complex relationships between the manner in which the model is appropriated and the resulting conflict management processes. Specifically, findings indicate that when models are appropriated they will reduce the ineffective conflict management behaviours. The concept of Model Appropriations Complexity (MAC) has been introduced as a moderating variable between the model appropriations and conflict management effectiveness with the findings supporting a positive relationship between MAC and effective conflict management. Additional preliminary analyses indicate prior FM-related experience of group participants as another potential explanatory variable for future research to explore.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; HM Sociology