MANG6049 Problem Structuring Tutor: Dr Jonathan H. Klein Aims This unit introduces the inter-related issues of defining, developing, exploring and working with ill-structured problems in an effective manner. Problems which present in a wellstructured form are the exception rather than the rule. Most problems are Amessy@: illdefined, often vague and poorly expressed, and with as many subjective versions as there are people involved. Further, such problems rarely lend themselves in any obvious way to quantification or neat solution by the traditional methods of management science. In recent years, management scientists have become increasingly interested in approaches to problems which enable problem owners to define, discuss, explore and work with problems in a constructive way, without over-simplifying or distorting. This unit considers the issues associated with such problem structuring approaches. Initially, the unit focuses in particular on cognitive cause mapping, a problem structuring technique which involves creating a rich graphical model of a problem consisting of constructs (concepts or ideas) linked by causal relationships, and an associated group problem-structuring method, strategic options development analysis (SODA). Subsequently, the unit broadens to consider other problem structuring approaches, highlighting the strategic choice approach (SCA). Learning outcomes By the end of this unit, you will have developed: $ Knowledge and understanding of the basics of cognitive mapping/SODA and SCA and the issues associated with their use, and be able to use these approaches effectively. $ Knowledge and understanding of the Asoft@ management science approach. $ The intellectual (cognitive) skills required to use cognitive mapping/SODA and SCA effectively. $ The intellectual (cognitive) skills to work effectively with problem structuring approaches. $ The following key skills: qualitative problem-solving. Summary of content The unit consists of an exploration of issues concerned with problem structuring and Asoft@ management science, illustrated by means of practical exercises using two popular problem structuring approaches: cognitive mapping/SODA and SCA. The unit is taught by a mix of lecture, workshop and discussion sessions. Recommended texts, journals and resources Most of the material in the unit is covered in the following text, which may constitute the text for the unit: J. Rosenhead & J. Mingers (editors) (2001) Rational Analysis for a Problematic World Revisited: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty and Conflict. Wiley, Chichester, UK. Assessment The unit is assessed by examination (100%). The examination tests both basic understanding of the approaches covered in the unit, and deeper understanding of problem structuring issues.