Management science process — subjectivity in problem identification

Eden, Colin and Sims, David (1981) Management science process — subjectivity in problem identification. Interfaces, 11 (1). pp. 68-74. (

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It is our view that not having available a method that can handle subjective views limits the client in the description that he can give to the consultant; he assumes that the consultant is only equipped to handle certain types of information, and there is no point in giving him other types. Such a limitation may leave the client feeling that he has not had the opportunity to describe the features that are the most important ones for him. The experience of most consultants is that when the client is given the freedom to express in his own language that which he feels is important, he will gradually warm to his subject (the problem). This will enable him to tell the consultant about a variety of qualitative and attitudinal factors which are crucial to an understanding of the organizational setting of his problem. Many of these factors are related anecdotally, as “tidbits” of tasty information. These tidbits are usually important aspects of the development of a consultant-client relationship, and yet there has not been available a method for explicitly modeling their significance within the problem.