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How Modeling Language Shapes Decisions: Problem-Theoretical Arguments and Illustration of an Example Case

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 248)

Abstract

To facilitate decision making and problem solving in organizations, numerous modeling approaches have been advanced in various research fields. Many of them are grounded on the idea that problem situations can be structured by means of designated sets of modeling concepts. A critical, yet often implicit, assumption in parts of the literature concerns the view that a given set of modeling concepts can capture the problem situation “as it is”. Considering arguments about the constructive nature of problems, the paper illustrates a practical example case in which different modeling approaches are used to describe a single decision situation, to the effect that the formative role of decision modeling languages becomes apparent. Theoretical and practical implications for the field of conceptual modeling are outlined, and directions for future research are drawn.

Keywords

  • Conceptual modeling
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Problem construction
  • Decision models
  • Modeling concepts

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A different variant of decision matrices is provided by the OMG DMN (see [7, pp. 70–87]). In this variant, outcomes (which then also represent alternatives) are mapped to combinations of input values [7, pp. 70–72]. These decision tables are helpful mainly for “operational decisions” [7, p. 27] where it is known ex ante how to act under what circumstances. This is not the case in the more complex example case.

  2. 2.

    Note, however, that cognitive maps and goal models could be created such that they include solutions as well. In fact, this is what is done in parts of the literature on goal model analysis (see [10, pp. 680–681]). But, as has been pointed out, these “procedures can only find alternatives already in the model” [10, p. 681].

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Bock, A. (2016). How Modeling Language Shapes Decisions: Problem-Theoretical Arguments and Illustration of an Example Case. In: Schmidt, R., Guédria, W., Bider, I., Guerreiro, S. (eds) Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling. BPMDS EMMSAD 2016 2016. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 248. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39429-9_24

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