Qualitative modelling

Date of publication: May 1, 1996

Author: James P. King


In the rush to implement cost-cutting procedures and deploy the latest management theory panaceas, management have neglected the need for motivated and loyal employees. This project represents the beginning of one organization's attempt to redress the balance: to better understand what would improve the 'wellness' or morale of its staff. This paper is mainly concerned to highlight the potential contribution of other disciplines - particularly engineering design and strategic planning - in helping to better understand complex issues such as staff morale. Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) makes no assumptions about the structure of an issue. It lets the issue reveal itself to the group, and indicates the subsequent use of a more focused problem-solving method. Encouraging the use of idea generation techniques in the early stages, ISM then takes over where they leave off by allowing a qualitative model of an issue to be developed by those most involved.

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