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Behavioural Operational Research: Emerging & Interdisciplinary Perspectives

May 12, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, the EWG-BOR, jointly with the UK OR Society’s BOR SIG, hosted an online workshop for academics and practitioners to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from interdisciplinary and emerging perspectives on Behavioural OR.

Professor Alberto Franco, Loughborough University, UK, and Coordinator of the European Working Group on Behavioural OR opened the event with a presentation on Taking stock of behavioural OR: A review of behavioural studies with an intervention focus, highlighting differences between process and variance studies. He provided suggestions for future BOR research, including research into the role and impact of model-generated information feedback on behaviour and performance, model building involvement, model reuse, and learning as well as research that aims at clarifying the role and impact of individual differences. The accompanying paper has been recently published in EJOR[i].

The workshop then kicked off with speed talks from young BOR academics who provided an overview of their research activities. The presentations featured:

  • Dr Tuomas Lahtinen, Aalto University (Finland): Path dependence in Operations Research practice – Observations and experiences from the field
  • Dr Aysegül Engin, University of Vienna (Austria): The cognitive ability and working memory framework: Interpreting cognitive reflection test results in the domain of the cognitive experiential theory
  • Dr Alice H. Aubert, Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Switzerland): OR processes online with laypeople: behavioural issues
  • Dr Marta Lopes, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (Portugal): Interdisciplinary perspectives on Energy and Behaviour: Towards a Low Carbon Future
  • Dr George Papachristos, TU Eindhoven (The Netherlands): The behavioural link between system dynamics and transitions
  • Dr Firouzeh Taghikhah, Australian National University (Australia): Exploring consumer behaviour and policy options in organic food adoption: Insights from the Australian wine sector
  • Dr Katharina Burger, The University of Bristol (UK): Behavioural Operational Research: A Capabilities Approach

The slides from the speed talks are available here: Speed talks

Presentations were followed by a breakout session, involving small groups of delegates discussing a particular theme, focusing on the following areas:

  • Open science & replications
  • Social media for research and community development
  • Teaching and training BOR: resources and reference materials

The Miro boards from the breakout sessions are available here: Miro boards

Finally, Dr Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, Southampton Business School, UK and Chair of the UK OR Society’s Behavioural OR Special Interest Group, closed the event on behalf of the UK BOR SIG, and Prof Alberto Franco and Prof Rudolf Vetschera, University of Vienna highlighted future engagement opportunities, such as the online EWG-BOR summer school 2021 and the hybrid EURO conference 2021 in Athens.

Delegates from seven European countries and international participants from Brazil and India contributed to the online event. The workshop provided the opportunity to engage with colleagues across the BOR community and explore areas of collective interest and capability within the areas of teaching and training BOR, open science and replication and social media for behavioural operational research and for community building. It is hoped that the opportunities identified and discussed will spark ideas for future innovation and collaboration.

The event was organised by participants of the 1st BOR Summer School held five years ago at Aalto University, Finland.

[i] Franco, L. A., Hämäläinen, R. P., Rouwette, E. A., & Leppänen, I. (2020). Taking stock of Behavioural OR: A review of behavioural studies with an intervention focus. European Journal of Operational Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2020.11.031