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Wanted: Dead OR alive—ways of using problem-structuring methods in community OR
journal contributionposted on 1997-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ann TaketAnn Taket, L White
Problem structuring has often been seen as providing an appropriate framework for Community OR; from our point of view the question to raise is not how to choose the best method for any particular situation, but how to act on opportunities to use different methods in practice, i.e. making the process the central focus. In this paper we examine our use of problem-structuring methods in the context provided by postmodernist poststructuralist ideas in some Community OR (COR) case studies. In particular this paper will:. • scrutinise the notion of ‘problem’ and suggest that it might open a larger space for action and choice to recast this in terms of issues; • show the applicability of issue-structuring methods in combination with other participatory methods, e.g. rapid appraisal and action methods, especially in the context of evaluation, which most of our case studies will be concerned with; • illustrate the possibilities of mixing and matching different parts of different issue structuring methods in practice. In this way we demonstrate some ways in which the practice of OR can be revitalised, in particular through a re-conceptualisation of the notion of ‘praxis’.