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The agency role of simulation models in model-building groups

The agency role of simulation models in model-building groups
The agency role of simulation models in model-building groups
Simulation models, in particular System Dynamics (SD) models, can be used in a group modelling setting to communicate, integrate, learn, collaborate, organize knowledge and derive new insights. Such models can play the roles of conceptual integrators, representations, learning or predictive tools. In this ethnographic study of two in-depth SD group modelling projects we discovered that SD models can be active agents in the group-model building process by initiating cognitive transition on participants’ (model and case based) modes of reasoning. We found that the cognitive transition was achieved through a series of surprises or shocks that refuted participants’ prior conceptions and forced them to switch between case-based and model-based reasoning during the model-building process. Based on these insights, we present a framework that describes how simulation models change the mode of reasoning in group modelling project and explains the model’s agency role. The study addresses the calls from earlier OR articles to contribute with more case studies using an ethnographic method looking into simulation artefact agency.
system dynamics simulation, Practice of OR, Group deicision making, systems thinking
0160-5682
Kapsali, Maria
17fd2050-4a68-4f53-ad99-c9e598e10588
Bayer, Steffen
28979328-d6fa-4eb7-b6de-9ef97f8e8e97
Brailsford, Sally
634585ff-c828-46ca-b33d-7ac017dda04f
Bolt, Timothy
c89d6637-1ac3-4891-8ad7-85af083f26ca
Kapsali, Maria
17fd2050-4a68-4f53-ad99-c9e598e10588
Bayer, Steffen
28979328-d6fa-4eb7-b6de-9ef97f8e8e97
Brailsford, Sally
634585ff-c828-46ca-b33d-7ac017dda04f
Bolt, Timothy
c89d6637-1ac3-4891-8ad7-85af083f26ca

Kapsali, Maria, Bayer, Steffen, Brailsford, Sally and Bolt, Timothy (2021) The agency role of simulation models in model-building groups. Journal of the Operational Research Society. (doi:10.1080/01605682.2021.1929527).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Simulation models, in particular System Dynamics (SD) models, can be used in a group modelling setting to communicate, integrate, learn, collaborate, organize knowledge and derive new insights. Such models can play the roles of conceptual integrators, representations, learning or predictive tools. In this ethnographic study of two in-depth SD group modelling projects we discovered that SD models can be active agents in the group-model building process by initiating cognitive transition on participants’ (model and case based) modes of reasoning. We found that the cognitive transition was achieved through a series of surprises or shocks that refuted participants’ prior conceptions and forced them to switch between case-based and model-based reasoning during the model-building process. Based on these insights, we present a framework that describes how simulation models change the mode of reasoning in group modelling project and explains the model’s agency role. The study addresses the calls from earlier OR articles to contribute with more case studies using an ethnographic method looking into simulation artefact agency.

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JORS paper revision 4 Accepted Manuscript - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 6 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 June 2021
Keywords: system dynamics simulation, Practice of OR, Group deicision making, systems thinking

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449120
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449120
ISSN: 0160-5682
PURE UUID: cc25bfbc-148c-41fa-a387-e8fb33a77a2d
ORCID for Steffen Bayer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7872-467X
ORCID for Sally Brailsford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6665-8230

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 May 2021 16:34
Last modified: 15 Jun 2022 01:32

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Contributors

Author: Maria Kapsali
Author: Steffen Bayer ORCID iD
Author: Timothy Bolt

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