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Problem-structuring methods: collaborative action with an application to the healthcare sector in Iran


  • Khadijeh Rouzbehani


While most problem-structuring methods have been used by actors confronting problems within organisations, some have also been used by actors working between and across organisations to address problems of common interest. This research note explores the significance of the methods in collaborative contexts of the latter kind. The underlying proposition is that the methods can be expected to contribute meaningfully to the collaboration process principally by improving actors’ sense-making of their problem and providing structure to the product of such sense-making. This proposition rests on a wider appreciation of collaboration, power, dialogue, shared meaning and implementation, which condition the impact of the methods and the evaluation of their effectiveness. The proposition is considered here, first, from a theoretical-conceptual perspective; and, thereafter, with reference to an action research project concerning industry-academic collaboration aimed at building a high value healthcare environment in relation to a publically-significant company importing medicine in Iran.

Suggested Citation

  • Khadijeh Rouzbehani, 2016. "Problem-structuring methods: collaborative action with an application to the healthcare sector in Iran," Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 281-288, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:38:y:2016:i:4:p:281-288
    DOI: 10.1080/23276665.2016.1253958

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