Complexity as a Challenge

Book of Abstracts Volume 9

Euro Working Group

Methodology for Complex Societal Problems

Operational Research Societies

Dorien J. DeTombe (Ed.)

Chair Euro Working Group 

Delft University of Technology


Euro 2001 Rotterdam, The Netherlands, July 9-11, 2001





Euro Working Group Operational Research Societies

Methodology for Complex Societal Problems

E U R O 2001

17th European Conference on Operational Research

Rotterdam, The Netherlands, July 9-11 2001

Coordination Dorien J. DeTombe

The members of the Operational Research Euro Working Group 21 that reviewed the abstracts

Board of the Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems


Corresponding address:

Dr. Dorien J. DeTombe, Ph.D.

Chair Operational Research Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526


ISBN  90-5638-080-X

Ó Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, May 2001


Euro Working Group Methodology for Complex Societal Problems

Handling complex societal problems needs a special approach. Handling societal problems in an interdisciplinary way has become a must for our society and a challenge for the human sciences. The problems society is confronted with are difficult to handle. There is a growing gap between the complexity of these problems and the human capacity to deal with them. There is a need for better methods and tools, more knowledge and imagination. Scientific knowledge is needed to survive amidst these problems.

Therefore methodology for complex societal problems has become a new field of scientific attention. Some of the scientific reasons for this special approach are that the problems are seldom defined, change during their development, many actors are involved often with a different view on the problem, with different interest and with different ‘solutions’ in mind. Societal reasons for this special approach is the importance of these problems for society, the impact they have on many people, and the large amount of money involved. Combining the effort of scientists who are working in this field is an inspiring serious challenge from the perspective of a number of disciplines. Combining existing knowledge and creating new insights with methods and tools for supporting complex societal problems is a challenge for scientists from different fields.

The goal of the Euro Group 21 on Methodology for Complex Societal Problems is to increase and to combine the available scientifical knowledge regarding the handling of complex societal problems. Means to reach this goal are organizing workshops and conferences, publishing proceedings and books in which the discussion on this subject can take place.


The year 2000

The interest for the Euro Working Group 21 on Methodology for Complex Societal Problems is still growing. In July 2000 on the EURO XVII conference in Budapest Hungary the Euro Working Group 21 organized nine sessions and a workshop. This means that during the whole conference there was a continuous discussion of the subject of Methodology for Complex Societal Problems. The papers and the discussions were very inspiring. The presenters of the papers were selected based on the abstract reviewed by the board of the Euro Working Group 21. The Euro Working Group 21 is very glad that it was able to invite such a large group of high qualified researchers from all over the world to present their research. The abstracts of the papers were published in the way of the tradition of the Euro Working Group 21 in a special booklet (DeTombe, 2000a). The Chair of the Euro Working Group 21 was invited to present a semi plenary lecture on the Euro XVII conference. Many people attended the presentation.

In cooperation with the Euro Working Group 21 organized the International Society on Complex Societal Problems in October 2000 the second international meeting of researchers on the subject of Complex Societal Problems. This session was organized on the 5th International Conference on Social Science Methodology in Koln, Germany. There the International Society on Complex Societal Problems organized several sessions in which twelve researchers presented their papers (DeTombe, 2000b).


The Euro Working Group 21 works closely together with the Dutch Nosmo Research Group on Complex Societal Problems in the Netherlands and with the International Society on Complex Societal Problems. The Dutch Nosmo research group on Complex Societal Problems organized in the year 2000 four meetings with paper presentations and discussions.


The West Euro Group 21on Complex Societal Problems

In order to intensify the discussion and the scientific exchange the Dutch Nosmo group on Complex Societal Problems started in October 2000 a cooperation with the Belgium and German scientists in this field. Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Brans and his group of researchers of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium and Prof. Dr Franz Liebl of the Witten/Herdecke University, Prof. Dr. Heiner Müller-Merbach of the University of Kaiserslautern and Dr. Elmar Stuhler of Munich Technical University in Germany and some of their colleagues joined the Dutch Nosmo Group of Dr. DeTombe in an Euro 21 Subgroup named the West Euro Working Group 21 on Complex Societal Problems. The West-Euro Working Group 21 met twice in Amsterdam (SISWO) in 2000 to discuss their mutual research plans. It promised to be a very vivid and fruitful research group. In 2001 four meetings of the West Euro group 21 are planned, two in Amsterdam (SISWO), one in Maastricht (ICIS) and one in Brussels (VU).


The number of members of the Euro Working Group 21 is steadily growing. The members of the Euro Working Group 21 come from different fields and are work at universities all over the world. There is a high degree of activity and interaction amongst the members of the group. By the reaction of the audience there is a feeling that this relatively new subject of the Operational Research field is winning more and more interest. There is also a growing interest from the side of policy makers who recognize that the problems they are confronted with are complex problems, which are not easy to solve, and which need an complex integral approach. The growing interest is needed, because the problems society is confronted with should be efficient and sustainable handled. Complex societal problems like in Europe the recent troubles in the agro-industry as the Mad-Cow disease and the Mouth and Foot disease, and the continue problems with in the area of transportation. The worldwide problems in the area of healthcare like malaria and AIDS, and the water problems (too less, too much and not clean).

Conferences organized by the Euro Working Group on Methodology for Complex Societal Problems:

Books published on the topic of Methodology of Complex Societal Problems


Complexity as a challenge


Methodology for Complex Societal Problems

STREAM 1 Theory

Session chair: Prof. Dr. Franz Liebl

Presentation 1 Theory

Introduction of the Conference Track and the Theme of the Euro Working Group 21: Methodology for Complex Societal Problems

Dr. Dorien J. DeTombe, Ph.D.

Chair Operational Research Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526



Keywords: Methodology, Handling Complex Societal Problems, Euro Working Group 21


The Euro Working Group 21 is an interdisciplinary group of researchers that focuses on methodology for handling complex societal problems. The field of methodology for handling complex societal problems focuses on how to handle complex societal problems. There are many kinds of complex societal problems. Complex societal problems are problems as for example, healthcare problems, transportation problems, environmental problems or urban planning problems. Some of the general aspects of complex societal problems are that they include many phenomena, involving knowledge from many disciplines, much of the knowledge and data needed for handling the problem are missing or in contradiction with each other and of these problems have a large amount of uncertainty. The problems involve many actors each with their own view on the problem, their own interest and goals, and therefore have a great impact on society. Because the knowledge that is needed to handle these problems, the many actors involved and the impact on society, these problems should be handled by groups of persons. Knowledge, power and emotion are the basic elements in handling these kinds of problems. In real life these problems are often handled ad hoc, and hazardous till it goes wrong. Then all kind of support is called in. This often costs society much money and pain which could have been (partly) avoided. These problems should be handled in a structured way from the start. Handling these problems needs a whole scale of group support tools, from gaming to simulation, and individual preparation tools, from data analysis to operational research techniques. There are tools and methods already existing in other fields and special developed tools and methods for this field. How these problems should be supported and what kind of methods and tools are needed in what phase of the problem handling situation is the subject of the Euro Working Group 21.

The Euro Working Group 21 elaborated on the Operational Research Conferences in six years time from 3 paper presenters in 1995 to 34 paper presenters in 2001.

Presentation 2 Theory

Van der Riet, Odette, Drs. Delft University of Technology; Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

In the last decades, the policy analysis world has started to realize that government policy is no longer created by an authoritative decision by a policy maker or a coherent group of policy makers. One has started to realize that policy development is not only intellectual cogitation but also social interaction, and one has started to see the need to pay increased attention to the subjective and process-related aspects of policy analysis. This has given birth to a new kind of policy analysis: 'interactive policy analysis'. In this new type of policy analysis interactions with stakeholders are considered essential. Stakeholders are involved in the analysis to acquire their insights and their values, and to communicate the results of the analysis to them. The aim is to get supported knowledge. In addition, 'multiplism' is seen as essential: including multiple problem definitions and data sources, and drawing on multiple techniques in analyzing the data. It is acknowledged that there are multiple views on policy issues, all of which potentially have some validity and need to be taken into account; and that analytic techniques contain their own implicit biases that have to be acknowledged. This new kind of policy analysis is still in an experimental stage. Integrating multiple views is easier said than done. The proposed paper is aimed at learning from a case. The economic evaluation of an investment proposal for an additional sea sluice in front of the Amsterdam port area serves as the case. This interactive policy analysis study has been carried out recently for the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management

Presentation 3 Theory

The Problem-Structuring Process

Joldersma, Cicka , Dr. Tilburg University The Netherlands E-mail:

Keywords: problem structuring

There are many prescriptive approaches of the problem-structuring process. From a self-organizing social systems perspective, this paper empirically investigates how ill-structured problems are structured by actors that are involved in the problem situation.

A preliminary distinction can be made between the (1) shared awareness that something should be done regarding the problem situation, (2) openness for new information, and (3) selecting themes for discussion. The empirical data is obtained from different runs of a realistic two-days game/simulation in which actors have to structure realistic complex policy issues.

Presentation 4 Theory

The validation of Complex Simulation Models

Van Dijkum, Cor, Dr. Department of Methodology & Statistics

Utrecht University E-mail

Keywords: Validation, Complex, Simulation Models

Computer simulation seems to be a well-established scientific tool to generate knowledge about complex phenomena in our world. The sophistication of hard- and software made this success of computer simulation possible, and gave rise to valuable knowledge with which one can handle a variety of complex problems. Nevertheless, looking more close to this knowledge, one also sees in the field of operational research confusion and divergence in definitions of simulation methods, methodologies and scientific worldviews. As is the case in other fields of science different paradigms are used and what seems at first sight a coherent body of knowledge, appear to be at second sight "worlds apart" (Dijkum & Akkermans 1990). From the viewpoint of the history of science such a situation can be a breeding bed of a variety of research which at last can be combined in a fruitful scientific

enterprise. The focus on linear differential equations for example created a wonderful starting point for mathematical research into non-linear differential equations. The neglect of possible stochastic component of differential equations and the focus on deterministic differential equations made it possible to develop a body of knowledge with which statisticians can at last start fascinating simulation studies into the world of stochastic

phenomena. Nevertheless, one can also worry about the fragmentation of knowledge and

the slowness in the growth of the body of knowledge. One can wonder whether there is a progression at all and believe with some researchers of simulation (Sterman & Wittenberg 1999) that there an arbitrary rise and fall of paradigms in which no true rationality is to be found. For believers in scientific rationality (Popper 1934, Lakatos 1970, Dijkum 1991) this belief undermines the credibility of simulation studies. Whenever such a worry was

only theoretical one should not worry at all, but looking more closely to the practice of simulation studies one could get the idea that 'anything goes'. In different periods of time different methods for simulation are in fashion: system dynamics, object-oriented, distributed object oriented, agent based, fuzzy logic, soft system, multicriteria, petri net, a.s.o. . Thereby very different programming languages and software are used with

exotic names such as dynamo, simula, saps, xtpml, mascot, james, versim, moose, compose, prosit, mimose, acl. (see for example: Bargiela & Kerckhoffs 1998). There seem as many methods, methodologies and programming languages, as there are practices of simulation. Moreover when one question the validity of simulation models the answers are quite unsatisfactory. How can one for example judge the validity of climate models except then to refer to consensus between so-called experts? Is it possible to falsify those models? How can one compare the outcome of simulation models with data? What are adequate criteria of validation? How are quantitative and qualitative comparison balanced? How can one use advanced statistics to grasp uncertainty? It is quite clear that those questions are hard to answer in the practice and theory of simulation (Dijkum, DeTombe & Kuijk 1999).

In this paper it is tried to give some methodological answers to those elementary questions. That is done by: (1) updating the rationality idea of Popper and Lakatos into the framework of constructive realism (Dijkum, Zeeuw & Glanville 1998); (2) from within this framework the (re)definition of (for simulation) important concepts such as validation,

system, dynamic system, social system, model, recursion, causal recursion, bonded graph, levels of aggregation, linear model, non-linear model, complex, stochastic (Dijkum 2000a); (3) illustrated by two examples of simulation of social systems (Kuijk, Mens-Verhulst, Dijkum & Lam 1998; Dijkum 2000b); (4) referring to the way the science of simulation can function in a interdisciplinary framework to understand and handle complexity (DeTombe 1994; Dijkum 2000c).

STREAM 2 Practice

Session chair: Dr. Dorien DeTombe

Presentation 5 Practice

Atmospheric Co2-Dynamics as an Example for Disturbed Flow Equilibrium

Vezjak, M. Prof. Dr. *A. Lipicnik, B. Paradiz, **T. Ecimovic, ***E.A. Stuhler

E-mail: Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Ljubljana, Slovenia

*Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Maribor, Slovenia

**Institute for Climate Change, Komenda, Slovenia

***Institute of Economics and Social Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Germany


One of major challenges facing mankind is to provide an equitable standard of living for this and future generation (adequate food, water and energy, safe shelter and a healthy environment). The majority of experts from practical all scientific fields believe that human-induced climate change is inevitable, but the future scenarios depend on ability of controlling anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. During the last few years, many parts of the world have suffered major heat waves, floods, droughts, fires and other extreme weather events leading to significant economic losses, loss of life for many species and distraction of environment. The question is not whether climate change will change in response to human activities, but rather how much, how fast and where. It is also clear that climate change will, in any part of the world, affect socio-economic sectors, with

developing countries being the most vulnerable. Multidisciplinary complex societal problems of climate change are already recognized from UN as the most dangerous threat to our common future. Because of the mentioned reasons we are willing to contribute to find and evaluate the solutions on diverse aspects of mitigation and adaptation to challenges of climate change. The Slovenian Group as a member of the International Complex Societal Problem Solving Society (I.C.S.P.S.S.) suggests to intensify the co-operation in the form of the electronic conferences, workshops, projects, conferences and publishing materials under title Climate change implications on our common future. The paper uses the system dynamics

approach for study of the atmospheric CO2-dynamics as an example for disturbed flow equilibrium. Exchange of CO2 between living and dead biomass and the atmosphere by photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition is described. The intention of the EU and its Member States to develop further the methodologies to assess in a quantitative manner the progress in implementation of domestic policies and measures, under the Monitoring Mechanism related to work on indicators, is demonstrated.

Presentation 6 Practice

Operational Research Based On Experiences Of 32 Years Of The Promotion Of Sustainable Development On Regional Scale

Dobrowolski Jan W , Prof. Dr. Sc. & dr. Wladyslaw Obalski

Chair of Environmental Biotechnology and Ecology AGH, Open Technical University

Wydz. GGiIS, Goetel's School of Environmental Protection and Engineering Al. Mickiewicza 30/PAWc-4, 30-059 Krakow, Poland tel. +48 12 6172253(54) fax. +48 12 6331791 E-mail:

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Poland

Interdisciplinary research on sustainability and sector integration with common action for the better quality of the human environment and life was a main goal of voluntary, out-of universities Polish Schools initiated by one of authors (J.W.D.) in 1968 in the region of the oldest in Europe international park and popular center of ecotourism in the Pieniny Mts.

The slogan of thinking globally and acting locally was taking into real life by series of seminars in linkage with common action with local inhabitants, administration and managers. Foreign experts and participants contributed to these Schools from 1973. They were recognized as the first on international scale pilot projects linked with training focused on system approach to solving common problems of the environmental management and sustainable development on regional scale (in different protected areas, as well as industrial regions). In the pilot problem-oriented "case studies" took part well-known experts from

natural, technical and socio-economical subjects. In results of the interdisciplinary research were recommended practical conclusions including consultation with local community and managers. Following heuristic approach cooperation among scientists and practitioners and communication with decision makers at different levels have been improved. This was also a contribution toward knowledge-based society by problem-oriented training of students and graduates of over 30 subjects and by introduction of various forms of education. These new approach to education of local society was a subject of studies of sociologists, psychologists, pedagogists, economists, lawyers, etc. from the point of view of the perspectives and common action towards promotion of sustainable development. As the result of interdisciplinary long-term studies were introduced to both local sociaty and scientific community synthetic report related to quality of the Biosphere, Sociosphere and Technosphere in regions under investigation. One of subject of the pilot project was environmental impact assessment of side effects of motorized, mass tourism in the regions of national parks, popular center of recreation and the World Culture Heritage in Krakow (Cracow city).The impact of the reports was as a rule elaboration of algorithm how to integrate education, administration, introduction of new environmentally friendly technologies (environmental biotechnology in particular) and system of management for

integration of different sectors and action for the improvement of the quality of human environment (from the point of view of primary prevention of health hazard and risk factors to the nature and culture heritage). As the output of consultative process among scientists and practitioners was recommended a concept of alternative development e.g. eco-tourism. It was also feed back system between control of environmental quality (based on

screening monitoring) and application of results of new research-developing studies on laser biotechnology for more effective limitation of transport of traffic output (by acceleration growth rate of protective green belt made of bushes and trees) integrated with administrative and educational action. The efficiency of integration action was again a subject of studies related to social, technical and biological aspects of the human

environment (including juridical aspects of environmental education). Experiences of 11 years of activity of AGH Open technical University could support idea of permanent improvement of knowledge of decision-makers and society contributing to lectures and discussion with well-known experts from natural, social and technical disciplines focused on proper use of scientific and technical progress for better quality of life for all and contribution to progress of integration on European and global scale according to character of problems the Mankind is facing with at beginning of XXI century.

Presentation 7 Practice

Development of a General Evolutionary Methodology for Sustainable Development. The evolution of sustainable environmental management strategies

Hwang, Sang W. Drs. Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

Department. Sweet Briar College. Sweet Briar, Virginia 24595 USA.

Keywords: Methodology for Complex Societal Problems at the European Operational

This paper addresses the dynamic factors inducing the evolution of environmental management strategies in the context of sustainable development. I draw upon theory from the field of general evolutionary sciences (including chaos theory, complexity science, and nonlinear thermodynamics) to develop a general evolutionary methodology for the analysis of sustainable development strategies. Application of the methodology to selected case studies indicates that sustainable

development strategies co-evolve in response to organizational values, technology, and organizational structure inside the firm, and to the environmental management field outside the firm. Competing notions of sustainable development influence the politicization process that limits the types of sustainable development strategies chosen and implemented. The evidence also indicates that new pathways of efficiency are emerging in sustainable development based on market driven strategies, institutional partnerships, and the formation of new industries.

Presentation 8 Practice

Mediation in sustainable airport development

Thießen, Friedrich, Prof. Dr.Technical University Chemnitz Department of Economy, Finance and Banking TU Chemnitz D-09107 Chemnitz Str. der Nationen 62, D-09111 Chemnitz , Reichenhainer Str. 39, D-09126 Chemnitz, Telefon: 0371/531-4188, Telefax: 0371/531-3965, E-mail:, http://www.tu-chemnitz. de/ wirtschaft/bwl4

Keywords: Corporate Finance, Commercial Banking, Investment Banking

In many European countries airports try to invest heavily in new terminals and runways. Amsterdam is only one example. Environmental issues are very critical. In Germany almost all airports want to enlarge their capacities. The Frankfurt airport is in the forefront. More than 60 environmental initiatives have been founded to fight against the enlargement. Billions of currency units will be invested and 100.000 of people will be affected in part negatively (noise) in part positively (jobs). Hundreds of law suites against the airport are in preparation.

In this situation the German government in order to support sound decision making has invented a new methodology to handle such complex problems: the Mediation. Political leaders say, Mediation would be a new methodology to combine the knowledge of scientists of all relevant fields in order to achieve extensive insights of all pro’s and con’s of complex social issues.

Mediation as handled by the German government consists more or less of the following process: three reliable, well known, elderly persons ("Mediators") supported by a staff of young scientists ("Wissenschaftliche Begleitung") organize a process in which experts of all relevant fields report about their knowledge (oral or in writing). On the basis of this the "Mediators" prepare a final expertise and give a recommendation to the politicians.

The theoretical foundation of Mediation has never been worked out.

This was the reason why we started to analyze the process of the Mediation in the case of the envisaged enlargement of the Rhine-Main-Airport in Frankfurt. The Mediation involved more than one year of work, hundreds of experts and thousands of pages of expert opinions.

The analysis of the Mediation showed that many mistakes have been made. The Mediation does not fulfil scientific criteria. Many of the mistakes have far reaching consequences and are to be found at very hidden points, were the general public has difficulties discovering them.

It is our opinion, that Mediation is not only no reliable Instrument to solve complex social issues. It is to the contrary an instrument to hide relevant information and mislead the general public. So it is a step back in the process of finding ways to solve complex social issues.

If you want to learn more about the mediation of the Frankfurt airport please check the internet page

STREAM 3 Theory

Session chair: Dr. Cor van Dijkum

Presentation 9 Theory

Pluralism and Inconsistency in Scenario-Building

LIEBL, Franz Prof. Dr. Chair for Strategic Marketing, University Witten/Herdecke

Witten, Germany E-mail:

Keywords: Strategic Management, Innovation, Complex Societal Problems

Scenario techniques are the method of choice for many companies and public institutions to cope with environmental turbulence and complex problems. However, scenarios do not prevent decision-makers from being surprised. They are regularly confronted with entirely unanticipated situations. Thus, although nobody would seriously claim that scenarios should predict the future in exact detail, it is striking how often situations occur that were excluded as "logically impossible" or "inconsistent" during the process of scenario-building.

We have identified two related problems: (1) The pluralism problem, i.e. the actual situation may show the concurrent existence of several scenarios, a simultaneity of the unequal. (2) The consistency problem, i.e. the actual situation does not lie within the corridor of the various "extreme but consistent" forecasts. That means, the actual situation does not reflect a violation of quantitative limits but rather demonstrates that elements which were regarded as mutually exclusive and incompatible have emerged as a result of changes in the underlying causalities.

In this paper two ways to handle these problems are presented: (1) a reconceptualization of what "trends"? the driving forces in scenarios? are all about; (2) an "inconsistency analysis" that reveals the consequences of variations in the cross-impact matrix.

Presentation 10 Theory

How A Mixture of Soft OR Techniques can Support Legitimization of an


Petkova, Olga, Prof. Dr. School of Mathematics, Statistics and Information Technology

University of Natal, Private Bag X01, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa Phone: 0027 33 2605650, Fax: 0027 33 2605648 E-mail:; Web:

Keywords: Soft OR Techniques, Multi-methodology, Intervention

Traditionally operational researchers have paid attention mostly to the problem of validation of the models and procedures they apply. However Landry, Banville and others have stressed also the importance of legitimacy of an OR model. The latter is related to the likelihood for its successful implementation. The validation of the model is usually of concern predominantly for the OR specialist. Model legitimization is of importance for the users and other stakeholders. The same authors have suggested seven heuristics that can increase the likelihood of obtaining legitimate models though not guaranteeing it. The contribution of this paper is in the

operationalization of these heuristics to a real case of evaluation of the factors affecting software development productivity in the context of a large software project. This research explores how a multimethodology combination of techniques from soft systems thinking, critical systems thinking and multicriteria decision making a contribute to the adherence of the heuristics of Landry and Banville.

Presentation 11 Theory

Getting a Method for Societal Problem Handling Accepted for Policy Use

Dr. Dorien J. DeTombe, Ph.D.

Chair Operational Research Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526


Keywords: Handling Complex Societal Problems, Compram Method, Credibility

The path from developing a new approach for handling complex societal problems to using the method is real life can sometimes be a long and tedious one.

When the method exceeds the so called ‘seven steps to heaven’ which can be bought in the popular bookshop in the top ten range of managers books, it takes a long time before the policy makers are willing, able and allowed to use the method, especially when the method seems to be complicated. Even when the method is based on thoroughly scientific research it takes a long time for policy makers to accept the method as a more fruitful approach then their regular approach. Even when the policy makers realize that the way the societal problems are handled is far from optimal and often have unwelcome outcomes. The demand of the policy makers to use a simple and easy method is often in direct contrast with the complicated reality of societal problems.

An example of a scientific based method for handling complex societal problems is the Compram method. This frame-work method for handling societal problems, is primarily based on scientifical evidence. The six step approach of the method is not easy and simple to use. The approach is based on a combination of human interaction of groups coming from different fields and having different interests. The method includes (a lack of) knowledge, power and emotion. This combined with the difficulty of group communication makes it difficult to explain the essence of the method to the policy makers. When they are convinced of the qualities of the method for them there is the difficulty for them to convince their home base.

In the paper the six steps of building credibility for acceptance of a scientifical based method for policy making will be described, including the conditions to use the method in real life in relation to aspects of the problem owner.

Presentation 12 Theory

The Eight Focuses of Management Games

Bowen, Ken Prof. Dr. *& Brugha, Cathal M. Ph.D. ** *Department of Mathematics,

Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, England.

**Department of Management Information Systems, University College Dublin,

Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Keywords: Management Games

At the previous EURO conference the authors demonstrated the parallels between Brugha's Eight Adjustment Types in Nomology and Bowen's Eight Faces of Research, showed that they reflect an inherent common structure, and proposed how this structure could be used to help find an appropriate direction for research projects. In this paper they extend the ideas to describe Eight Focuses of Management Games. These are Games for 1. Fun or Playing Around, 2. Inquiring Creatively, 3. Learning, 4. Experiencing or Developing Perceptions of Reality, 5. Managing, 6. Teaching, 7. Understanding or Developing Theory, and 8. Research.

STREAM 4 Practice

Session chair: Prof. Dr. Marjan Vezjak

Presentation 13 Practice

Disaster Management

Guven, Caglar, Prof. Dr., Dept of Industrial Engineering, Middle East Technical University

Ankara 06531 - Turkey E-mail:

Keywords: Disasters, Turkey

Disaster planning and management is a complicated societal problem of the first order especially in a country like Turkey where earthquakes can inflict widespread devastation. Such disasters touch all aspects of communal life and cannot be handled following straightforward and clearly defined policies. Disaster management involves forming and adopting a nationwide attitude, overcoming societal and institutional impediments, sorting out organizational issues, coordination and cooperation among different bodies and groups, logistics and contingency planning in the face of extreme uncertainty; and most of all, creating new channels, mechanisms and platforms that support community initiatives. It is not even clear who the owners of the problem are, who should organize an overall look at the issues, and what lines of action are warranted. In short this is an area of research that challenges all approaches to problem structuring and system design. We recount the recent Turkish experience and lay out the disaster and management plans.

Presentation 14 Practice

Emergency planning for large-scale natural or technological hazards

Denzel Fisher Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installation, Logistics and Environment) , U.S. Department of Defense

Madhu Beriwal, President Innovative Emergency Management, Inc

Keywords: Complex Decision-making for Emergencies: A Multivariate Application to Chemical Weapons Protection.

Emergency planning for large-scale natural or technological hazards represents a particularly complex environment for decision-making. The decision chain can involve a huge number of players and stakeholders, including emergency and political authorities from all levels of Government (local, regional, national), first responders, technical and environmental experts, regulatory bodies, community groups, special interests, and the media. There is a significant need for a scientific, objective methodology for assessing risks and evaluating protective strategies—particularly one that permits quantitative comparisons between various options and scenarios from diverse stakeholder viewpoints.

This problem has been especially relevant at chemical stockpile sites in the United States. Chemical weapons are stored at some location in the United States. As part of the Chemical Weapons treaty, these weapons must be destroyed. The United States Congress has mandated that "maximum protection" be provided to all citizens, workers and the environment during the storage and destruction process. Decision making in such an environment has been complex, with many stakeholders and issues.

IEM has developed a quantitative methodology called Quantitative Emergency Management (QEM) to assist in decision making. A set of tools called QEM-World have been developed to implement the methodology. This paper provides information on the policy environments supported by QEM and some of the technological challenges faced in developing the methodology and tools.

Policy areas supported by QEM include:

Acquisition: The model can show the relative impact of different proposed protective strategies, processes, and equipment upon the overall risk—an important capability, since implementation of strategies on a community-wide basis often has both a high price tag and a long logistical tail.

Emergency Response: By using a comprehensive set of likely conditions for the simulations, analysts can pre-identify which strategies are most effective for which scenarios. Such information can be distilled into a relatively simple set of lookup tables that can lead emergency managers to scientifically validated protective action decisions via a straightforward and efficient process.

Presentation 15

Supporting Strategy Development in Small Enterprises: A Case of B2B Adaptation

Sorensen, Lene, dr. E-mail:

Keywords: Small enterprises, Business to business

One of the great societal challenges of today is the adaptation to the information society. National policy plans focus on goals and visions related to use of information technologies, to becoming part of global economies and to establishment of the knowledge based society, amongst others. One group of society is often ’overseen’, namely, the small enterprises. In Europe, small and medium-sized enterprises add up to around 95% of total enterprises with a coverage of 60%-70% in jobs. Small enterprises can, therefore, be seen as an important factor in securing the information society. However, for the small enterprises these goals are typically rather problematic and conflict filled and without immediate problem solving help to find. The purpose of this paper is to show, how soft OR approaches can be used in small enterprises to provide structure and support to their complex problem situation. The paper focuses on a specific case in which a small company has been forced to consider aspects of adapting electronic business and commerce technologies into their business network–the so-called business-to-business (b2b) adaptation. The SWOT analysis, Strategic Choice Approach and Cognitive mapping were applied. Experiences from the case showed that soft approaches can play a central role in initiating an understanding of the problematic situation related to small businesses’ b2b adaptation. However, other factors such as reflection, time, sharing of knowledge and the role of the facilitator are highly influential for the learning processes needed for solving the problem and for formulating the necessary strategies.

Presentation 16 Practice

The application of complexity theory in real-life innovation management

Harkema, Saskia, drs. & Dr. Walter Baets University of Nyenrode/NOTION The Netherlands

Tel: 00 31 (0) 346-291225 E-mail:,

Keywords: Management, Complexity Theory

This paper describes an experimental approach to model an innovation process of which customer knowledge is an integral part, on the basis of principles and concepts of complexity theory and its possible implications on innovation outcome. It is part of on-going applied research carried out at the University of Nyenrode in the Netherlands, at the Nyenrode Institute of Virtual Education and Knowledge Management (NOTION), chaired by Prof. W. Baets.

In this paper the intricate and complex relation underlying the process of development of new products and customer response will be analyzed. The relationship between innovation and customer response is primarily defined as a process of knowledge management and mutual learning (Baets, 1998). In addition innovation is regarded as "controlled chaos" (Quinn, 1995). This means that innovation is conceptualized as a process of interaction and subsequent knowledge flows between people that are organized in a network and form a complex system. In the sixties, Simon, one of the founders of complexity theory, defined a complex system as one made up of a large number of interconnected parts that have many intricate interactions. The difference between simple and complex systems is enclosed in the word "interconnected". To be able to fathom the nature of a complex system, an understanding of the behavior of the parts does not suffice, but also how the parts act together to form a whole. It is because the whole cannot be described without a description of each part, and because each part must be described in relation to the other parts, that complex systems are difficult to understand.

Innovation is the fuel of a company; that what keeps it going. A Company that does not innovate won’t be able to sustain its competitive advantage and thus undercuts its basis for continuity. At the same time, innovation is one of the most difficult and elusive processes to manage. The failure rate of innovations is high, measured by the extent to which they are able to fulfill customer wishes, but also measured by the extent to which they go beyond the phase of ideas with high potential. The stakes for companies are therefore high, to be innovative while being effective, efficient, creative and timely. 3M has understood this and as a consequence employees are allowed to experiment and be creative for 15% of their time.

Most companies organize their innovation processes as a series of activities going through different stages (Cooper 1987, Utterback 1994, Christensen 1997). Traditionally innovation follows from a technology-push (Schumpeter 1934) or market-pull (Mowery & Rosenberg 1979). In addition innovation is mostly defined as a linear path in which a certain input leads to a certain output. In most cases the input is a combination of a new technological breakthrough or improvement coupled to an expected customer need. The output of innovation processes is measured in terms of profitability, an expected market share or turnover.

Innovation is usually defined and regarded as something, which to a large extent is tangible and finished: is it a product or a service. Innovation in this article will be defined as an intangible asset (Quinn 1992, Baets 1998), i.e. as a knowledge-creating, sharing and learning process (Argyris & Schon, 1978; Senge, 1990; Nonaka 1991). Innovation then becomes internal knowledge (originating from the own employees) in combination with external knowledge (originating from external stakeholders) which is exchanged and shared via a process of mutual learning, and which may lead to the creation of new knowledge: the basis for innovation. Knowledge is as such intrinsically related to human beings that own knowledge, combine it in their own mind to form new knowledge, share it, and re-convert it into new knowledge. People (employees and other stakeholders) are essentially the most important variable in the equation and especially the relationship among them and the way they interact.

From the methodological point of view there are several conceptual models of innovation. Linear models (Utterback, 1994) assume a linear path between the experimentation and idea phase of an innovation, up until the market launch. Linear models are grounded in the traditional paradigm of product innovation, i.e. the so-called Schumpeterian Theory (1961), which assumes that new product outcomes are dependent of the scale of investment and R&D. Interactive models (Van de Ven 1999) demonstrate that innovation is not a linear process but a collaborative process, where participants are members of a network ruled by the principle of mutual learning. In addition customer focus models (Howells, 1997) focus on "user needs" and evolutionary models (Nelson, 1982) focus on incremental learning processes.

Innovation defined as a knowledge management process in which learning takes place and in which learning and interaction is the driving motor, has direct methodological consequences.

A dynamic inter-organizational model of innovation is brought forward in this paper, as an alternative methodology to model innovation processes. Modeling innovation as a complex adaptive system partly follows on the principles underlying interactive models of innovation. The main features of the interactive perspective are:

  1. the assumption that innovation is the result of the interaction of structural influences and the actions of individuals,
  2. the conceptualization of innovation as a complex process, subject to reinvention and reconfiguration.

In addition concepts and principles of complexity theory (Simon, 1996) are then applied to model an innovation trajectory.

Complexity theory has not yet been applied to a large extent to business processes. As mentioned earlier innovation processes are one of the most difficult to manage in an enterprise. It is therefore of great importance to understand the mechanisms that govern and underlie innovation processes and define alternatives that can possibly lead to an improvement of the rate of success. Ultimately the rate of success is determined by the customer who will make a decision to buy or not on the basis of the perception and knowledge of what a company has to offer. And to the extent to which the latter is willing and able to integrate the input of customer knowledge into the organizational business process underlying product innovations. This will have direct consequences on performance indicators to measure the success of innovation processes. New metrics will be required if innovation is conceptualized as a complex system of interacting agents, which share knowledge and learn.

Instead of defining innovation success in terms of organizational characteristics or factors linked to the success rate of a product innovation, in this research the latter will be modeled as the outcome of the interaction among a variety of agents that pursue strategies in a co-evolutionary process with each other. This will form the input for a computer simulation that should give insight in the complex array underlying innovation processes affecting innovation management and outcome.

STREAM 5 Theory

Session chair: Dr. Cathal Brugha

Presentation 17 Theory

Systems Methodologies in Modernism - Versus - Post-Modernism Debate

Petrovic, Slavica P. Prof. Dr., Faculty of Economics, University of Kragujevac, D. Pucara 3, 34000 Kragujevac, Yugoslavia E-mail: slavicap@

Keywords: Modernism, Post-Modernism

Relevant consequences of modernism - versus - post-modernism debate for social sciences ought to be investigated through implications for (hard, cybernetic, soft and critical) systems methodologies as a suitable apparatus for creative tackling complex societal problems. The key question is: Which systems methodologies (if any) express the post-modernism sense?

Hard systems methodologies and organizational cybernetics are representatives of systemic modernism. Soft systems thinking is recognized as an underdeveloped form of critical modernism. In critical systems thinking, systemic aspects of modernism are subordinated to the critical presumptions.

There are four fundamental issues posed by post-modernism, which have relevant implications for system thinking: logic and order, progress, power, language. Logic and order inherent to hard and cybernetic systems thinking are radically re-examined by post-modernism. Search for progress is a central to systems thinking, but in post-modernism is treated as a dangerous myth. Power is a key category for any post-modernist statement of social relations, but it is understood simply in soft and critical systems thinking. For soft and critical systems methodologies, language is a medium for understanding and accommodation; in post-modernism, language is seen as a deceptive for users. Generally, post-modernism offers a little support to modern systems thinking.

Presentation 18 Theory

Ryzhenkov, Alexander V. Dr., Economic Faculty, Gakushuin University

2nd East Building, Room 1122 , 1-5-1, Mejiro Toshima-ku Tokyo 171-8588

Fax: 81-3-5992-1007 Tel: 81-3-3986-0221ext.4122 E-mail:

Keywords:ystem dynamics , economic and ecological reproduction of capital 

This paper presents a system dynamics approach to the economic and ecological reproduction of capital on the increasing scale. Three kinds of relationships are being separately modeled first: (1) the impact of economic growth on natural capital, (2) the influence of income levels on intermediate variables, such as environmental policy, and (3) the effect of intermediate variables on the environmental pressure. The next

(4) characteristic of this approach is that it is capable of presenting the reverse influence of environmental degradation on national income. A technological progress, induced by income distribution, can foster the employment and rates of return to produced and natural capital under an appropriate environmental policy. Computer simulations and macroeconomic statistical data for the US economy, 1948-2000, support this analytical treatment. A pivotal role of consciousness in facilitating eco-efficiency within the scope of the existing and potentially feasible regulatory institutions is emphasized.

A Further Reading: Ryzhenkov, A. V. (2000) Unfolding the Eco-wave: Why Renewal Is Pivotal. Chichester, New York a. o.: John Wiley & Sons, x, 140 p.

Presentation 19 Theory

Consensus Building in High Complexity Problems. A Multicriteria Approach Based on AHP

MORENO-JIMÉNEZ, José María, dr. AGUARÓN, Juan, dr. ESCOBAR, María Teresa, dr.
Dpto. Métodos Estadísticos, Facultad de Económicas Universidad de Zaragoza


Keywords: Complex Problem Handling, Group Decision and Negotiation, Multicriteria Decision Analysis.

The human factor is being determinant in the resolution of real problems framed in what is known as high complexity situations. The incorporation of the perceptions of the reality that the different actors have, requires the use of open and flexible analytic tools for their resolution. These tools should allow combining the subjectivism of the actors which participate in the Decision Making Process and the objectivism of the scientific method, that is to say, should integrate the tangible and the intangible in a context with multiple scenarios, actors and criteria. In this paper, under the Multicriteria Procedural Rationality Paradigm, we propose for one of the most extended multicriteria decision making technique, the Analytic Hierarchy Process, an analytical procedure to establish consensus paths that, guaranteeing the consistency of the judgements elicited by the participants, would favor the negotiating processes between the actors involved in the resolution of the problems.

Presentation 20 Theory

System Analysis of World System and Prospects for Modeling.

Makarenko Alexander, Prof. Dr. Ukraine E-mail:

Keywords: Global model , Society

It is considered the properties of global world system from the point of view of system analysis. The author of report discusses the hierarchical structures, evolutionarity, complexity, holistic and axiological aspects. The outline of self- references, anticipating, living systems properties is proposed. The possibilities for modeling of different subprocesses and historical process as the whole are discussed. The general structure of global model of society and project for it implementation are proposed as the issue for collaboration.

Optimization and game-theoretical problems are formulated for new class of models. Analogies with operating of intellectual mobile robot navigation are discussed.

Presentation 21 Theory

Complex Approach to the Study of Complex Social Problems

Ivanov, Oleg, dr., Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia, E-mail:

The complex approach characterizes, first of all, the cognitive process and the activity aimed at its realization. It does not limit itself to specific range of concepts with ontological content, such as systems, complexes, structures, functions, processes, states, characteristics, etc. Implementation of this approach includes the whole set of methodological tools of the modern science (principles, methods, theories, concepts etc.) of the modern science. Application of this tools should be methodologically correct and should be aimed at achieving the main theoretical-methodological orientations of the complex approach, first of all, the creation of the integral and undiscrepant conception of the complex social problems. The comprehensive approach is developing on the basis of fundamental principles of comprehension, interdependence and development. It adopts these principles to each particular study. The result of this adaptation is the development of new set of principles, which differ from the principles of the other methodological conceptions. These principles include the following: Complex, undiscrepant knowledge versus diversified, uncoordinated knowledge, Interdisciplinarity, single approach to the cognitive process, to methodological organization of research (ensured by the common initial notions of an object; common idea of a research; system organization of the subject of research, which is a mental interdisciplinary construction of the analyzed object and common research program); mobilization of the pertinent knowledge concerning the object of investigation; basic science; supplementary; subordination and coordination of the research methods, qualitative and quantitative; methodological control of ideas and results compatibility. All these principles concern the cognitive process. They set the requirements for a methodological and social organization of the collective scientific research. The complex approach is implemented in a complex research in a relatively new form of collective scientific search. A complex research here means a research conducted in the line of single program and on the single content basis by a group of scientists representing different fields of scientific knowledge and (or) disciplines. Such research serves the purpose of the multilateral, coordinated and synchronous study of objects of complex organization or complex problems which can not be solved within the limits of a particular field, of scientific knowledge or discipline. Qualifying a research as a complex one is an independent and complicated problem. The complex character of the research can be determined on the basis of the several groups of features among which we can distinguish as "objective" and "subjective", internal and external features. In general the more complicated an analyzed object and the larger the number of research team members with different backgrounds the higher is the level of complexity of the research and the more complicated its methodological and social organization. The complexity is a developing feature of each complex research. It might increase or decrease as the study being developed. In each particular research scientists should not target to achieve the highest level and scale of complexity but look for an optimum level, which, on the one hand, will ensure success full results of the study, on the other hand, will provide the possibility to expand or to narrow the investigation if necessary. Each individual complex research is a multilateral but not an all-round research. The possibilities of the all-round study are every time limited by a number of participants of the investigation, by a number of branches of scientific knowledge included into the cognitive process, by a type of practical and scientific problems being solved in this research, la this sense it is correct to speak about both the complex level of a concrete research and. the potential of the complex study of the object. Use of the complex approach principles and. use of ideas of types and levels that complex research may have, can stimulate the rise in efficiency of the collective scientific research organization and integration of the scientific knowledge for Handling Complex Social Problems.

STREAM 6 Practice

Session chair: Prof. Dr. Ken Bowen

Presentation 22 Theory

Visioning for an Uncertain Future: Methodological Developments and a Practical Illustration

Meadows, Maureen Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK


Keywords: Visioning, Future

Visioning is the process of creating descriptions of desirable futures for an organization. Many visioning processes do not take into account any future uncertainties in the external environment. This paper presents a methodology for incorporating uncertainty into the visioning process. The methodology was piloted with over 70 final year undergraduate students. The results of the exercise will be presented, and learning points discussed.

Presentation 23 Practice

Visioning in the UK Utilities Sector: Four Case Studies

Maureen Meadows & Frances O’Brien, Warwick Business School

University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK, E-mail:

Keywords: Visioning Cases

This paper will describe four case studies on the practice of corporate visioning from the UK utilities sector. Important practical issues emerge, including: the role of vision in culture change, post privatization; the difficulties of communication with a range of stakeholders; participation and buy-in from front-line staff; and the lack of use of formal methodologies in vision development.

Presentation 24 Practice

Investigation of Region Development Scenarios with System Dynamics Simulations

Inguna Ruza, Ph.D. Student, Latvia University of Agriculture, E-mail:

Keywords: Region Development, Scenarios

Collapse of Soviet Union opened up artificially created and unequal region development of Latvia. Artificially made, economically unreasonable production, close co-operation and trade links with east crashed in a moment, leaving in place social pressure made by unemployment and poverty. The development of the new republic concentrated in the capital and see port cities. They are investment accumulating and economical development centers while other state territory development is narrow. Many scientists and practitioners have turned to solving these problems. Development of the region characterizes by complex interaction of social, economical aspects and physical resources. Decision makers in local as well as in state level often this complex system break in parts and try to solve one separate problem, often gaining short term development. However short term solution can lead to system collapse in long term. To overview region as a complex

system is developed system dynamics simulation model that captures several interdisciplinary realms, for instance: population (as social welfare consumers and creators), entrepreneurship (agriculture, industry and services), resources (capital, land), infrastructure, and local authorities. By simulating system is possible to obtain different region development scenarios as a result of policy makers’ decisions.

Presentation 25 Practice

Becchis, Franco, Dr.


Keywords: Virtual projecting as a way to deal with complex impact problems

Virtual projecting (VP) is a simple and intuitive way to simulate the effect of regulation, policies or, in general, choices, on particular projects or situations. The context where VP can give preliminary and sometimes useful answers to questions like "what is going to happen if...) are different:

1. Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) widely adopted by OECD governments

2- Decision making in firms or public administration

3- Teaching methodology

The basic structure of a VR "session" can be summarized as follows:

1. Identificate the reference-subject of the analysis

2. Define the profile of the external variable (law, tax, regulation...)

3. Restrict the field the test is aimed on (i.e. a particular project)

4. Select a group of professionals with competences in the relevant disciplines

5. build up a virtual situation (project) in absence on the point 2

6. make the same in presence of the point 2

7. Compare 6 and 5

8. Address the results to the right people and institutions

An experiment of VP has been conducted by a group of economists, engineers and law experts at the Istituto per l'Ambiente about the impact of different environmental regulation on investment and operating costs of waste to energy plants in Italy. The experiment can be presented as a "canovaccio" at the conference.

STREAM 7 Workshop

Complex Societal problems: Theory & Practice

Session chair: Dr. Dorien DeTombe

The content of the sessions of 2001, that of EURO 2000, Budapest and IFORS 1999, China will be reviewed in this workshop. What did we learn? Which progress did we made on theory, practice and organization? What are the interesting questions in this field? How will we continue in the future?

All people interested in this subject are invited to join especially those who were in these sessions.

Other subjects concerning complex societal problems:

Structure & Goal Research Groups on Complex Societal Problems & Issues


Books of Complex societal Problems & Issues &

Abstracts Books of conference presentations



Year reports research groups

Agenda's of Research Meetings


Become a member of the research groups?


 Methods of Complex Societal Problems & Issues: COMPRAM


For direct policy support in handling Complex Societal Problems & Issues

Foundation Greenhill & Waterfront


General corresp. address:

Dr. Dorien J. DeTombe, President

Chair International - , Euro - , West-Euro- & Dutch Operational Research Research Group Complex Societal Problems & Issues

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe Tel: +31 20 6927526  E-Mail:


©Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, update November 2003