Multimethodology in series and parallel: strategic planning using hard and soft OR

Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal Of The Operational Research Society, 2009, 60 (2), pp. 156 - 167
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This paper examines two distinct ways in which hard and soft operational research (OR) methodologies can be combined, in series and in parallel. Multimethodology in series is acknowledged as the simpler and more common approach. Multimethodology in parallel is identified as having the potential to provide significant benefits to projects in political, changing, or 'wicked' contexts that multimethodology in series cannot. Observations regarding these approaches to multimethodology are examined in light of an information systems strategic planning project in the Australian public sector. Two distinct methodologies were combined in the project: soft systems methodology and project management. These methodologies are based on the soft and hard paradigms, respectively. However, findings in this paper have the potential to be transferred to combinations of other hard and soft OR methodologies.
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