Abstract for: Theory Development in Group Model Building: Progress and Insights

The call for theory development in group model building is as relevant now as it was when it was first made 20 years ago. While many theories have been put forth, each focus on diverse aspects of the process, occur at different levels of analysis, vary in terms of empirical support and testing, and range in terms of the level of theory specification. Reviewing the contributions that have been made as the field has developed and new threads of practice have evolve can shed light on what the focus of our next efforts in theory development should be. This paper suggests that a useful next step in GMB theory development would be generate a more formally specified theory that reflects the dynamic nature of the GMB process from a feedback perspective, incorporating relevant elements from theories of mental model shifting and social aspects (social learning, social capital, and participation).