Skip to content

Understanding behaviour in problem structuring methods interventions with activity theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-1004
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jul 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Jul 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2015
DatePublished (current) - 16 Mar 2016


This article argues that OR interventions, particularly problem structuring methods (PSM), are complex events that cannot be understood by conventional methods alone. In this paper an alternative approach is introduced, where the units of analysis are the activity systems constituted by and constitutive of PSM interventions. The paper outlines the main theoretical and methodological concerns that need to be appreciated in studying PSM interventions. The paper then explores activity theory as an approach to study them. A case study describing the use of this approach is provided.

Additional information

Date of Acceptance: 18/07/2015

    Research areas

  • Problem structuring methods, Behavioural OR, Activity theory, Collective intentionality

Download statistics

No data available





View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups