Understanding Participant Engagement in Problem Structuring Interventions with Self-Determination Theory

Katharina Burger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


The importance of understanding how Soft OR methods work is increasingly being recognised. However, gaining insight into how participant engagement develops at the micro-level of a problem structuring intervention is an ongoing challenge. This exploratory study addresses the question: How do intrinsically motivating experiences of participants unfold in problem structuring interventions? A sensitising device for the study of motivational affordances in problem structuring
interventions is proposed, grounded in self-determination theory, interaction aesthetics and the generic constitutive definition of problem structuring methods. Applying this lens to empirical episodes from a problem structuring intervention, eudaimonic and hedonic experiences of participants are made visible. In this way, the approach proposed in this paper contributes to an enriched understanding of how Soft OR methods work and enhances our conceptual repertoire for reflection on practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Early online date3 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2020

Structured keywords

  • MGMT Operations and Management Science
  • Behavioural Operational Research
  • Participant engagement
  • Group Model Building
  • Soft Operational Research


  • Problem Structuring
  • Soft OR
  • Behavioural OR
  • Process of OR


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