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The Supporting Strategy Research Group

Managers engage in a variety of activities as part of the strategic development or their organisations, for example setting direction and priorities, creating strategic initiatives, making sense of the external environment, evaluating strategic options and developing performance measures. However, strategic decisions have certain characteristics that make the process difficult to manage.


How do managers support their strategic decision making activities? We believe that frameworks, methods and models (including OR approaches) can contribute by helping managers to understand the nature of the strategic issues they face and to have confidence that decisions made have been supported by appropriate analysis of knowledge, information and data.

Who are we?

WBS Staff from Operational Research & Management Science Group

We also have links with a number of colleagues from other universities with whom we meet on a regular basis:

Jim Bryant - Sheffield Hallam / WBS
John Morecroft - London Business School
Maureen Meadows - Open University Business School
Stathis Tapinos - Aston Business School
George Wright - Strathclyde University

Our background

We have strong roots in the practice of strategic planning, particularly:

  • Identifying essential elements of a strategic development process
  • Exploring the effectiveness of strategic planning and development activities
  • Foresight & scenario planning methods

We have strong roots in Operational Research, particularly:

  • The exploration of frameworks, method and models to support the strategic planning / development process.
  • We put a strong emphasis on action research approach to methodological development.

What are we currently known for?

Developing methods to support strategy, including:

  • Futures Methodologies – Visioning, scenario planning & foresight
  • Problem Structuring Methods (PSMs)
  • Drama Theory
  • System Dynamics and systems modelling
  • Performance measurement (including Data Envelopment Analysis)
  • Combining approaches to support strategy
  • Computer-supported Group Decision Support
  • Group facilitation
  • Design of the strategy process
  • Behavioural Operations Research


Please find a selection of representative publications here.

Current PhD Students

Kyriaki Hadjicosta: Serious Games and Gamification in Business and Education

Emily Rowe: Organizational Failure: Technological Factors Influencing the dynamics of SME Retailers towards Performance diminution

Dize Dinçkol: Need for Privatization: Can SOEs Coexist Together with Private Firms and Enhance Competition?

Juan Manuel Doblas Olmedilla: The Strategy Design Processes and Strategic Flexibility Applied to Airlines