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Developing a visioning methodology: Visioning Choices for the future of operational research

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This paper describes the development of a participative visioning methodology, Visioning Choices, which is placed within the family of problem structuring methods, due to a range of characteristics and attributes that are discussed. The Visioning Choices methodology was developed in an action research paradigm, and consists of a number of stages. The case study presented describes an application of the methodology to the issue of the future of operational research (OR). More than 200 individuals participated in workshops to outline a desirable future for OR. Earlier work has shown that while the majority of organizations claim to have visions, and that visions are perceived to have an important role in contributing to organizational success, visions are usually developed using informal small group processes, rather than existing formal visioning methodologies. The paper uses coherence and correspondence arguments to reflect on the methodology described, and possible future developments to address issues such facilitation style and participant numbers.

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