Achieving a Balance Between Behavioral Theory and Behavioral Practice in Transformation Projects

  • Jonathan MalpassEmail author
  • Stephen Cassidy


An organisation undertaking a transformation project has to achieve a number of balances between the demands and expectations of various stakeholders. The desired post-transformation state is often identified using an Operational Research approach, such as a simulation tool. In practice, we see three key aspects of transformation projects where tensions arise and a balance between theory and practice needs to be found. At a Strategic level, behavior is often the driver of decisions and negotiations are key to finding an appropriate solution. At the Design/Planning level, Operational Research methods are used to define the outcome, but often fail to account for behavior of other stakeholders. At the Implementation level, where the transformation project is enacted, behavioral factors often mean that the planned, optimal solution is not straightforward to deliver. This chapter proposes a three-level model of transformation projects, describes the links between the stages and examines how an OR-derived boundary object can be used to ease the tensions between stakeholders. An example of a major transformation project in BT is used to demonstrate how understanding different skills from behavioural science enabled the effective delivery of an Operational Research solution.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied ResearchBTMartleshamUK

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