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Modelling complex ethical decision problems with operations research

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Author Info

  • Kunsch, P.L.
  • Kavathatzopoulos, I.
  • Rauschmayer, F.
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    Abstract

    This paper discusses the practical contribution of operations research (OR) techniques to modelling decision-making problems with ethical dimensions. Such problems are frequent in the global world: they frequently appear today in sustainability issues, e.g., in conflicts in the triangle of society, economy and environment. We show that the prerequisites for ethical problem-modelling are: the definition of moral principles, the evaluation of the decision context, the participation of stakeholders, the multidisciplinary collection of data, and the understanding of systemic interconnections. Classical OR instruments, mainly used in logistics and optimisation problems, are not entirely satisfactory for coping with the new ethical dimensions of sustainability. It is recommended to use and to develop more advanced, or combined instruments from the multi-criteria/multi-stakeholder and systemic streams of OR. It is argued that an important added value of using OR techniques for modelling today ethical issues lies at least as much in the discovery of open questions as in finding closed-form solutions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 1100-1108

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:37:y:2009:i:6:p:1100-1108

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    Related research

    Keywords: Philosophy of OR Decision-making process Group decisions Systems;

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    Cited by:
    1. Li, Deng-Feng, 2011. "Linear programming approach to solve interval-valued matrix games," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 655-666, December.
    2. Tavella, Elena & Hjortso, Carsten Nico, 2012. "Enhancing the Design and Management of a Local Organic Food Supply Chain with Soft Systems Methodology," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(2).
    3. Bernroider, Edward W.N. & Schmöllerl, Patrick, 2013. "A technological, organisational, and environmental analysis of decision making methodologies and satisfaction in the context of IT induced business transformations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 224(1), pages 141-153.
    4. Ormerod, Richard J. & Ulrich, Werner, 2013. "Operational research and ethics: A literature review," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(2), pages 291-307.
    5. Calvete, Herminia I. & Galé, Carmen, 2011. "On linear bilevel problems with multiple objectives at the lower level," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 33-40, January.
    6. Diekmann, Sven, 2013. "Moral mid-level principles in modeling," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(1), pages 132-138.
    7. Goebel, Philipp & Reuter, Carsten & Pibernik, Richard & Sichtmann, Christina, 2012. "The influence of ethical culture on supplier selection in the context of sustainable sourcing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 7-17.

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