Group Decision Making Methods for Evaluating Social and Technological Risks

  • Paul R. Kleindorfer


This paper discusses group choice processes in evaluating social and technological risks. We first outline the rationale for government involvement in regulating certain classes of risks. This discussion highlights the social roots of policymaking in the risk area. In particular, if one takes the normative perspective of trying to make policy choices in the name of certain stakeholders (e.g., the public at large), then the problem naturally arises of identifying and incorporating the possibly conflicting values and perceptions of such stakeholders into evaluation and choice procedures. Direct participation (e.g., through referenda) is one mechanism for accomplishing this. Other mechanisms include public opinion surveys and the use of panels and committees composed of community leaders or other role players representing the interests of stakeholders. These latter mechanisms, as well as the policy making process itself, lead to a discussion of controlled group processes as a means of accomplishing certain evaluation and information gathering tasks in the policy formation process. After structuring various forms of group activity (e.g., forecasting, scenario generation, and choice), an overview of recent research on group processes as it relates to these issues is presented.


Strategic Planning Policy Option Compromise Solution Collective Choice Group Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg/Austria 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Kleindorfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Decision Sciences Department, The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA

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