Decision development in facilitated modelling workshops
While the facilitated modelling literature recognises the importance of the group process within facilitated modelling workshops, published empirical research rarely examines their dynamic nature. In this paper, we address this gap in the literature in two ways. First, we propose to locate facilitated modelling workshops as the main focus of investigation, and adopt decision development as the analytical lens. Second, we provide guidance regarding how to implement a research strategy that is informed by such a focus. We start by mapping the different conceptualisations of decision development that seem embedded within the facilitated modelling tradition, and contrast them with theoretical models from the group communication field. Our analysis identifies a number of potentially useful areas for the study of facilitated modelling workshops from a decision development perspective, and articulates a number tentative research questions and testable propositions amenable to empirical research. Central to our proposal are research methods for the study of dynamic group processes. We thus discuss the steps required to extract group process data from facilitated modelling workshops that are usable and open to analysis. This includes a review of issues regarding research design, coding scheme development, data coding and choice of analytical techniques. Finally, we offer conclusions and briefly discuss some feasibility issues related to the implementation of our proposal.
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