3rd Behavioural OR Summer School

Behavioural operational research (BOR) is a relatively new emerging area within the discipline of operational research. It is interested in examining behavioural issues within the context of model-supported problem solving and decision making, as well as in using models to describe human behaviour in complex settings. To learn more about this exciting growing area, please visit the other pages on this site.

The 3rd Behavioural OR Summer School is organised by the European Working Group on Behavioural OR, and adopts an online format given the restrictions due to the current pandemic context. However, we have organised an exciting programme delivered by pioneering professors in the field. Most sessions will include an interactive element and cover different aspects of behavioural OR, including methodological aspects. During the sessions, participants will have the opportunity to describe their research ideas or projects with our experienced speakers and get valuable feedback.

Attending the Summer School is free of charge. We welcome registrations from anyone interested in learning about behavioural issues in modelling and decision support. Experience in behavioural studies is not a prerequisite for attending the Summer School. Participants can come from any area of operational research and be at different stages of their career (e.g. students, post docs, assistant/associate/full professors, practitioners). We also welcome participants from other disciplines such as the behavioural, social and computational sciences. Knowledge of OR is not a prerequisite – interdisciplinarity is in a key role in BOR.

To register please go to the registration page.

Deadline for registrations is 10 September 2021.

All registered participants will receive instructions by email on how to join the online sessions. Participants who attend all sessions will receive a certificate of attendance and access to the Summer School materials.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Full Programme (pdf)

Session 1: Behavioural considerations in the formulation of objectives
Monday 20 September 2021, 12:30 -16:30 (BST)

In this session, participants will learn about behavioural research that examines what people do when asked to think about objectives. In addition, they will experience the process of formulating objectives through an online interactive exercise set within the context of a decision they are currently facing. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to try methods designed to improve their ability to identify and structure multiple objectives.


12:30Welcome and introductions  L. Alberto FrancoLoughborough University, UK &
Radboud University, The Netherlands  
12:40Introduction to value-focused thinking Johannes Siebert Management Center Innsbruck, Germany
13:00Identifying objectives
13:30Break (15’)
13:45Formulation of objectives
14:15Break (15’)
14:30Structuring of objectives
15:15Break (15’)
15:30Give yourself a nudge Ralph KeeneyDuke University, US 
16:15Selected participant presentations and/or general Q&AJohannes Siebert Management Center Innsbruck, Germany

Session 2: Behavioural considerations in participatory modelling
Tuesday 21 September 2021, 08:30 -12:30 (BST)

In this session, participants will learn about behavioural research that examines what people do when asked to support a participatory modelling process. After an introduction to the role of leadership in participatory modelling processes, participants will explore the extent to which competences and behaviour affect the conduct of a participatory modelling process.


08:30Welcome and introductionsEtiënne RouwetteRadboud University, The Netherlands
08:40Leadership in participatory modellingRaimo HämäläinenAalto University, Finland
09:40Break (10’)
09:50Participatory modelling competences Sondoss El SawahUniversity of New South Wales Australia
10:50Break (10’)
11:00Ethical issues in modelling Alec MortonUniversity of Strathclyde, UK
11:40Break (10′)
11:50Practice TheoryRichard OrmerodUniversity of Warwick, UK

Session 3: Behavioural considerations in elicitation processes
Thursday 23 September 2021, 12:30 -16:30 (BST)

In this session, participants will explore research that examines preference elements required for formal use in prescriptive decision analysis, specifically MAVT/MAUT. Insights from Behavioural OR studies concerning preference elicitation in a variety of settings will be discussed, including face-to-face interviews, group decision-making, and online preference elicitation. Participants will have the opportunity to experience some online preference elicitation processes. In addition, participants will learn about biases that matter in elicitation processes and how to avoid them. 


12:30Welcome and introductionsJudit LienertEawag, Switzerland
12:40Overview of behavioural issues in preference elicitation processesValerie BeltonUniversity of Strathclyde 
13:30Break (10’)
13:40Multi-party online preference elicitation without facilitation supportAlice Aubert, Judit LienertEawag, Switzerland
14:30Break (10’)
14:40Interactive preference elicitation exercise
15:30Break (10’)
15:40Biases that matter in elicitation processes and how to avoid them Gilberto MontibellerLoughborough University, UK

Session 4: Methodological considerations in the design and conduct of BOR studies
Friday 24 September 2021, 08:30 -12:30 (BST)

In this session, participants will learn about a sample of approaches to the design and conduct of Behavioural OR studies. After an introduction to different approaches to researching behaviour in an OR-supported context, participants will explore issues to consider in the design of behavioural experiments, pre-test and post-test evaluations, and process studies. 


08:30Welcome and introductionsRaimo HämäläinenAalto University, Finland  
08:40Three ways of conducting BOR studies: variance, process and modelling approachesL. Alberto FrancoLoughborough University, UK &
Radboud University, The Netherlands 
09:30Break (10’)
09:40Issues in the design of behavioural experiments Ilkka LeppanenLoughborough University, UK
10:30Break (10’)
10:40Issues in the design of pre-test and post-test evaluation studies Etiënne RouwetteRadboud University, The Netherlands
11:30Break (10’)
11:40Issues in conducting process studiesL. Alberto FrancoLoughborough University, UK&
Radboud University, The Netherlands

Feedback session and virtual drinks
Friday 12:30 -13:30 (BST)


Johannes Siebert (Management Center Innsbruck, Germany) (link)
Ralph Keeney(Duke University, USA) (link)
Raimo Hämäläinen (Aalto University, Finland) (link)
Sondoss El Sawah (University of New South Wales Australia) (link)
Alec Morton (University of Strathclyde, UK) (link)
Richard Ormerod (University of Warwick, UK) (link)
Judit Lienert (Eawag, Switzerland) (link)
Valerie Belton (University of Strathclyde, UK) (link)
Alice Aubert (Eawag, Switzerland) (link)
Gilberto Montibeller (Loughborough University, UK) (link)
L. Alberto Franco (Loughborough University, UK) (link)
Ilkka Leppanen (Loughborough University, UK) (link)
Etiënne Rouwette (Radboud University, The Netherlands) (link)