Evaluating Facilitated Modelling Processes and Outcomes: An Experiment Comparing a Single and a Multimethod Approach in Group Model Building

Hugo J. Herrera, Marleen H F McCardle-Keurentjes, Nuno Videira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Facilitated modelling approaches have been suggested as helpful tools to support negotiation in strategic analysis processes due to their potential to facilitate cognitive change and enhance consensus and commitment with final decisions. In the present research, we developed an experimental framework to compare what two of these approaches, that is, group model building and a multimethod approach, contribute to the process and outcomes in the negotiation of strategies. In the multimethod approach, we combined strategic options development and analysis with computer simulations of the group model building approach. We explored the differences between these two modelling approaches in facilitating cognitive change, consensus and commitment by building an experimental research design with real clients, working on their organisation’s problem. Furthermore, we compared the type and content of participants’ contributions in the strategic conversation. The lessons from the experiment conducted are twofold. On one hand, the multimethod approach encouraged more divergent contributions and produced a higher degree of cognitive change than group model building (i.e., the single approach). On the other hand, group model building encouraged more contributions about content related to causes of the problem and enhanced more commitment to the final solution than the multimethod approach. Hence, the conducted experiment brings new insights into the benefits of using multimethods and possible losses resulting from such combinations. Accordingly, we have presented opportunities for further research regarding the combination of facilitated modelling approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1318
Number of pages42
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Evaluation
  • Experimental research
  • Facilitated modelling
  • Group decision support systems
  • Group model building
  • Strategic consensus
  • Strategic options development analysis
  • System dynamics


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