Abstract for: Reviewing the Role of Stakeholders in Operational Research: Opportunities for Group Model Building

Stakeholders have always received much attention in system dynamics, especially in the group model building tradition, which emphasizes the deep involvement of a client group in building a system dynamics model. In organizations, stakeholders are gaining more and more attention by managers who try to balance the interests of various stakeholders. This trend is reflected in management literature where much advancement is made in what is known as stakeholder theory. In stakeholder theory it is stated that the implementation of its principles is one of its biggest problems because tools that facilitate balancing the interests of stakeholders are supposedly lacking. Operational research on the other hand aims to advance these exact tools. Apparently, there is a large gap between management literature and operational research, including system dynamics and group model building. To assess how group model building and other operational research methods help to implement stakeholder theory, we provide a systematic review of 140 operational research applications on the topic ‘stakeholders’. Content analysis of these articles shows the potential of group model building specifically, as this is a method that facilitates improving the rational, organizational process, and transactional level of an organization’s stakeholder management capability.