Colin Eden

Colin Eden
University of Strathclyde · Department of Management Science

Doctor of Philosophy

About

207
Publications
152,204
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12,378
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1989 - December 2014
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Dirctor Graduate School of Business, Vice-Dean SBS

Publications

Publications (207)
Chapter
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has activated hundreds of interdependent long-lasting risks across all sectors of society. Zoonotic diseases are on the rise, fuelled by climatic change, by encroachment and destruction of habitats, and by unsustainable practices. Risk assessment and management must be greatly improved to prevent even worse consequences than C...
Article
Full-text available
Group Decision and Negotiation methods can help identify optimal, or efficient, solutions to complex problems and so aid decision-makers. However, recommendations depend for their success, in part, on their political feasibility within, usually, complex organisational settings. A part of the complexity of effective implementation derives from under...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper synthesises the conceptualisation of improvisation within the frameworks of emergent strategizing and sensemaking. In doing so, it explores how the arguments presented in the literature offer an important role for improvisation in strategy making, with particular attention to its significance in understanding emergent strategizing and se...
Chapter
Full-text available
Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) enables a group or individual to construct a graphical representation (map) of a problematic situation, and thus explore options and their ramifications with respect to a complex system of goals or objectives. In addition the approach aims to help groups arrive at a negotiated agreement about how to...
Preprint
This research reveals, through an empirical study, how critical stakeholders are to the strategy process. The paper reports on the analysis and outcome of the study, where the purpose of the research was to understand i) the significance of stakeholders about what matters for the strategic future of the organisation when a senior management team co...
Article
Full-text available
This article contributes to the debate about rigor and relevance in management and organization research. The contribution derives from an empirical inquiry into the view of the research process of acknowledged experts in scientific research: Nobel Laureates. The research was conducted through loosely structured in-depth interviews with, and backgr...
Article
Stakeholders are critical to the strategy process but, in much of the strategy literature, they are rarely seen or heard. This appears to contradict practice - where experienced strategy makers and their advisors hold them in eminent positions. These contrasting perceptions are the focus of the research in this paper. Herein, we investigate the con...
Article
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The original formulation of communities of practice primarily focused on describing how learning, meaning, and identity within a community can translate into a sustained practice. Wenger-Trayner et al. elaborated the concept of landscapes of practice to describe how different communities of practice may interact, and belong to broader landscapes of...
Article
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This paper reports on a project in which a group support system (GSS) equipped with a causal mapping facility was used to acquire knowledge from experts in seven European cities in order to understand the systemicity of risks which cities may face. The practical constraints demanded that participants’ experience and wisdom about the city risk envir...
Article
Unexpected crises and risks affect the urban population. Critical infrastructure dependency, climate change and social dynamics have captured the attention of city decision makers across different disciplines, sectors, and scales. Addressing these challenges mandates an increase in resilience. This article presents the development of the novel Euro...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is threefold. Firstly, although there have been many articles and books describing the nature of Action Research there are few examples of doing it in practice. We describe how a Research Oriented Action Research programme unfolded over many years focussing on the operationalisation of theory alongside the development of a...
Conference Paper
This paper presents the EU H2020 project Smart Mature Resilience, which takes advantage of the fact that many cities are committed to become increasingly resilient and have ongoing processes for urban resilience. Smart Mature Resilience develops resilience management guidelines based on a Resilience Maturity Model that engages a growing number of s...
Conference Paper
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This paper reports on research which explores a typology of roles which participants undertake during the course of strategy making workshops facilitated with the use of a Group Support System (GSS). The reported research draws on a series of data logs generated in a number of strategy workshops with senior management teams in both public and priva...
Conference Paper
This paper reports on a project in which a Group Support System (GSS) was used to ‘acquire knowledge’ from seven European cities with respect to the interactions between risk events faced by the cities. The aim of the project was to develop a Risk Systemicity Questionnaire (RSQ) which is an interactive tool designed to support cities in improving t...
Conference Paper
In this paper we explore how those who arguably belong in the highest echelon of expertise arrived there. To this end, we conducted a series of loosely structured, open-ended, in-depth interviews with 19 scientists who were awarded the highest accolade of their respective disciplines, including 17 Nobel Laureates. In an attempt to make the most of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The resilience of cities has become a matter of concern across the world. The Rockefeller Foundation has sponsored resilience development in 100 cities across the world and the project discussed in this paper follows from EU interest in the topic. Resilience is dependent, at least in part, on effective risk assessment. However, most risk assessment...
Conference Paper
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Structured Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new workshop format concerned with the facilitation of Communities of Practice (CoPs). The introduced workshop format is based on a method of causal mapping, and it is aimed at helping the CoP members to understand better the possibilities of 'making most' of their community...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we develop the founding elements of the concept of Communities of Practice by elaborating on the learning processes happening at the heart of such communities. In particular, we provide a consistent perspective on the notions of knowledge, knowing and knowledge sharing that is compatible with the essence of this concept – that lear...
Article
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In this paper, we discuss two situations where two organizations with different aims recognized the dysfunctionality of their relationship. In each of these cases, which were long running (6–8 months), the organizations had worked hard to resolve this dysfunctionality, and conflict, by organizing off-site meetings designed to resolve the conflict....
Article
Collaboration can make sense when there is some sort of “collaborative advantage” to be gained, meaning organizations can achieve something together that they cannot easily achieve by themselves. However, the literature is essentially silent on how to identify collaborative advantage. This article addresses this shortcoming in the theory of collabo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Group Decision Support Systems (GSS) have been used extensively to support groups in working together in organizations. This paper focuses on the particular type of GSS, called Group Explorer, which during the course of facilitated sessions generates data logs in the form of Excel spreadsheets. Data logs can be of high interest to researchers and G...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops the founding elements of the concept of Communities of Practice (CoPs) by elaborating on the learning processes happening at the heart of such communities. In particular, it provides a consistent perspective on the notions of knowledge and of knowledge sharing that is compatible with the ‘DNA’ of this concept, i.e. learning enta...
Article
Creating public value is problematic in a world of austerity. Joint private and public, and public-public, projects are now an established way of creating public value. Establishing joint goals within a context of different ‘own goals’ is important and difficult. A particular issue facing many organisations in seeking to negotiate joint goals in a...
Article
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We discuss the development, using action research, of strategic management ‘designs for practice’ based on concepts and theories that seemed attractive and apposite to both the researchers/authors and to senior managers. In particular two specific collections of concepts and theories are addressed in detail: emergent strategizing and competitive ad...
Conference Paper
This paper contributes to the debate about rigour and relevance in management and organization research. The contribution derives from an empirical inquiry into the managerial and organizational cognition of acknowledged experts in scientific research: Nobel Laureates. The research was conducted through in-depth unstructured interviews with, and ba...
Chapter
Intuition is accepted in the case of practicing managers as well as scientists. Why it is not accepted then in the case of scholars who are studying the intuition of those managers and scientists? In this chapter we offer some tentative answers, with the aim of being thought-provoking. Drawing on our research into the cognitive complexity of Nobel...
Article
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In this paper, we raise issues about discovering and modelling purpose that, in our view, can often be missed within operational research practice. We suggest that, in problem solving, there is a danger of taking too little account of: the differences between espoused goals and goals-in-use; the potentially misleading nature of published goals; goa...
Article
This paper recognizes the substantive contributions made within the British Journal of Management to conducting research relevant to management at the level of individual studies. We aim to reorient the debate to take account of a researcher's contribution to practice over time and, by so doing, to indicate the range of ways knowledge can be transl...
Article
This paper reports on the development and structure of a framework – ScriptsMap – intended to facilitate the design of mixed method policy-making workshops. The ScriptsMap framework aims to provide a means of articulating and combining activities (which a script specifies) from two or more methods so that a facilitator or group facilitation team ca...
Article
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This article explores how top management teams can increase the robustness of their strategies by attending to important concepts emerging from the stakeholder literature. Analysis of three themes emanating from this literature leads to the development of a method composed of three techniques which elaborates how stakeholder management concepts can...
Article
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This paper reports on the use of both qualitative modelling (i.e. Journey Making) and quantitative system dynamics simulation modelling for a strategy making process in a UK police force. The main focus of the work is on the tension between the supply of resources (i.e. police officers) and the demands placed on those officers. The strategic conver...
Article
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Leading strategy making that is both analytically sound and also politically feasible is difficult but essential if the strategy is to stand a chance of being implemented effectively. This paper discusses the contribution of attending to social and psychological processes in making strategy. The paper explores a number of considerations for avoidin...
Chapter
Glossary Definition of the Subject Introduction Disruption and Delay Analyzing D&D and Project Behavior Cascade Model Building Process Implications for Development Future Directions Bibliography
Article
Full-text available
This note intends to contribute to the practice of group model building by presenting group model-building scripts that can (1) create a preliminary problem boundary using less than one hour of group time, (2) convene discussions with the group that explicitly link dynamic structure with system behaviour, and (3) allow participants to “zoom” betwee...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the use of Group Decision Support Systems (GDSSs) for assisting managers who must negotiate the resolution of messy, complex and/or strategic problems in getting to an agreed outcome. Specifically the chapter reports and reflects upon an intervention involving social and psychological negotiation. Building on existing research...
Chapter
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In order to elaborate the concept of resources (a key component of the well-established resource-based theory of the firm) this paper concentrates on exploring and elaborating the associated concept of competences, in particular distinctive and core competences. This exploration includes an examination of the extant literature, alongside and in par...
Chapter
Full-text available
Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) enables a group or individual to construct a graphical representation of a problematic situation, and thus explore options and their ramifications with respect to a complex system of goals or objectives. In addition the method aims to help groups arrive at a negotiated agreement about how to act to...
Chapter
The ability to reach informed and appropriate collective decisions is probably a prerequisite for civilization, and is certainly a valuable asset for individuals and for all types of organizations. The use of formal procedures for reaching a collective decision is often recommended, and it is widely accepted that collective decision-making can be “...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on the use of a Group Support System (GSS) to explore at a micro level some of the processes manifested when a group is negotiating strategy—processes of social and psychological negotiation. It is based on data from a series of interventions with senior management teams of three operating companies comprising a multi-national or...
Book
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The growing field of Group Decision and Negotiation is best described as the empirical, formal, computational, and strategic analysis of group decision-making and negotiation, especially from the viewpoints of Management Science and Operations Research. The topic crosses many traditional disciplinary boundaries. It has connections to business admin...
Article
Interest in the field of managerial and organizational cognition has been intense over the last few years. This book explores and provides an in-depth overview of the latest developments in the area and presents answers to the questions accompanying its growth: Is the field distinctive? How does it extend our understanding of managerial processes?...
Article
Full-text available
There is a need to bring methods to bear on public problems that are inclusive, analytic, and quick. This paper describes the efforts of three pairs of academics working from three different though complementary theoretical foundations and intervention backgrounds (ie ways of working) who set out together to meet this challenge. Each of the three p...
Article
Causal mapping can help managers to think through the causal influence between issues, enabling them to base a decision on a more structured consideration. Even in regular meetings, learning and the integration of knowledge from diverse stakeholders can benefit from causal mapping. Four causal mapping meetings with management teams are analysed to...
Article
This paper reports on a model building process developed to enable multiple audiences, particularly non-experts, to appreciate the validity of the models being built and their outcomes. The process is a four stage reversible cascade. This cascade provides a structured, auditable/transparent, formalized process from “real world” interviews generatin...
Article
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Project Risk Registers have been used extensively for many years. However, they do not account for the interaction between risks, for example, the occurrence of one risk exacerbating other risks or portfolios of risks being more significant than the sum of the individual risks. This leads to the need to consider 'risk systemicity' as a part of risk...
Article
A key to the success of public organizations is their ability to identify and build capacity, particularly their distinctive competencies, in order to produce the greatest value for key stakeholders. This article grounds this proposition in the resource-based view of organizations and presents a method for identifying and making use of distinctive...
Article
The majority of large, complex projects suffer disruptions. These can have unexpected and significant impacts on a project, resulting in excessive time and cost overruns. Disrupted projects therefore require careful management in order to minimize the impact of a disruption. One element of a project for which disruptions will have a particular impa...
Article
Cause maps are coded following many different conventions. It is therefore arguable that there can be no general approach to their analysis. Indeed the interpretation and meaning of the analysis can only be undertaken in relation to both the purpose of the research and the theoretical basis of the form of representation to be analysed, be it a caus...
Article
This issue of the Journal of Management Studies is devoted to a selection of articles that explore the uses of cognitive maps or cause maps for research and intervention in organizations. Before introducing the articles
Article
The article discusses the creation and teaching of public strategic management methods that will help to work against the rapid rise of public problems. Solutions to these problems must be analytical so that they focus on the situation at hand and do not create new problems to be solved. Using group-generated word-and-arrow diagrams and computer-su...
Article
The need to focus on the similarities and finding ways of managing complex problems to develop an effective future for problem structuring methods (PSM) is discussed. Potential users can understand the underlying principles and increase the probability of more sympathetic and successful application of the methods if a stronger focus is placed on th...
Article
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Working periodically between 1995 and 2005, a team of scholar-practitioners involved in related streams of strategic management and systems thinking developed a series of conceptual maps that attempted to integrate ideas from these theoretical and practical fields. Whimsically dubbed the Thinking Persons’ Institute Worldview, these maps provided th...
Article
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Researching organizations using action research Since its inception in the middle of the 20th century, action research has gradually gained in prominence. In the last few years, however, there has been an explosion of interest and a concurrent abundance of articles and books about it and using it. The term is used to describe a range of approaches...
Article
This paper reflects upon the use of causal mapping supported by a Group Support System (GSS) in a particular legal setting. The mapping method and GSS tool was used for the forensic analysis of eight major engineering and construction projects where the contractor intended to claim significant compensation (typically in excess of $20m). Necessarily...
Article
Full-text available
In the public arena, we often hear about projects that have suffered massive cost overruns. Often they are related to large public construction projects such as airports, bridges, or public buildings. Large overruns also exist in private industry. However, often these do not appear in the newspapers, so the public is not as aware of them. Of course...
Article
The forensic analysis of failed projects is often intended to identify specific reasons and allocate blame for significant cost overruns. In claim circumstances two approaches are often used: the “measured mile”, and system dynamics simulation modelling. This note compares these approaches and argues that, although it is the most popular approach i...
Chapter
Identifying what different stakeholders in a business need from Information Systems development has always been seen as problematic. There are numerous cases of failure as projects run over time, over budget, and, most significantly, do not meet the needs of the user population. Whilst having a structured design process can go some way towards redu...
Article
This paper discusses how cognitive maps might be analyzed for the purpose of structuring problems or issues. The paper suggests what the various analysis methods imply for an operational research practitioner when helping a client work on a “messy” issue or problem.
Book
Causal mapping is a tool that enables you to make sense of challenging situations so that you can get more out of them. A causal map is a word and arrow diagram in which ideas and actions are causally linked with one another through the use of arrows. Typically, only specialists such as physical or social scientists and operations researchers know...
Article
When complex projects result in large-cost over-runs, managers want to understand why this happened. There may be the possibility of making a claim against another party, or managers may simply wish to learn from any mistakes made. When using system dynamics (SD) models to analyse the reasons for project over-runs as a part of a litigation or organ...
Article
This paper reports the use, in the UK Home Office Prison Department, of cognitive mapping techniques for policy analysis. The methodology used has been developed to facilitate more effective management of messy problems by management teams. Here it is used for the collation, comparison and analysis of the views of many experts in relation to a majo...
Article
Full-text available
Mapping group knowledge: Structuring the information sharing process Abstract Sharing knowledge in meetings is often problematic because, for example: only one person can talk at once making it difficult for everyone to contribute effectively; a suggestion may not be made because it is too controversial; some participants rapidly progress through t...
Article
Full-text available
Problem-structuring techniques are an integral aspect of 'Soft-OR'. SSM, SAST, Strategic Choice, and JOURNEY Making, all depend for their success on a group developing a shared view of a problem through some form of explicit modelling. The negotiated problem structure becomes the basis for problem resolution. Implicit to this process is an assumpti...
Article
Over the last decade many managers and researchers increasingly have recognised that paying formal attention to stakeholders, both within and outside of the organization, is an important component of developing strategy. Although many take a normative stance and argue for the inclusion of particular stakeholder categories, for strategic management...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of “Delay and Disruption” within projects is well-known and is often the subject of litigation claims. However, the term is ill-defined, and it is difficult to justify such claims within a legal process. This paper demonstrates a well-developed approach, which is a logical, transparent, auditable and sustainable means of presenting such a...
Article
The negotiation and agreement of goals for collaborations between public and non-profit organizations is argued to be a complex and painful process. Thus, the research described in this paper used action research to explore some of the critical behaviours in such groups. Based on the two units of analysis of 'goal ownership' and 'episodes in negoti...
Article
For a large number of organisations effective delivery of strategy depends upon the psychological and emotional commitment of the Top Management Team (TMT) thus involving group negotiation and decision making. Computer based group support promoting open debate and developing commitment is therefore important and illustrated through examples from th...
Article
The use of computers to support group work – as a Group Decision Support System (GDSS) – on strategy making has grown over the last decade. Some GDSS's have a facilitator managing the computer with the group viewing a public screen displaying the debate, problem definition, and agreements of the group as it negotiates strategies. Others involve mem...
Article
Demands by clients for earlier delivery after a project has started are increasing. This paper investigates the consequential disruption and delay that follows from the contractor accepting these demands. Explorations are carried out using a System Dynamics model based upon a large model constructed to represent the complexity of a claim for disrup...