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Expert and novice facilitated modelling: A case of a Viable System Model workshop in a local food network

Authors
  • Tavella, Elena1
  • Papadopoulos, Thanos2
  • 1 University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark , Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 2 University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK , Brighton (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Operational Research Society
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Jan 08, 2014
Volume
66
Issue
2
Pages
247–264
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/jors.2013.187
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical study based on action research in which expert and novice facilitators in facilitated modelling workshops are compared. There is limited empirical research analysing the differences between expert and novice facilitators. Aiming to address this gap we study the behaviour of one expert and two novice facilitators during a Viable System Model workshop. The findings suggest common facilitation patterns in the behaviour of experts and novices. This contrasts literature claiming that experts and novices behave and use their available knowledge differently, and empirically supports the claim that facilitation skills can be taught to participants to enable them to self-facilitate workshops. Differences were also found, which led to the introduction of a new dimension—‘internal versus external’ facilitation. The implications of our findings for effective training and facilitation strategies in contexts in which external, expert facilitation is not always possible are also discussed, and limitations of this study are provided.

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