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Author Wenstøp, F.; Koppang, H. doi  openurl
  Title On operations research and value conflicts Type
  Year 2009 Publication Omega Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 37 Issue 6 Pages 1109-1120  
  Keywords Ethics; Value conflict; Emotion; Decision-making; Discourse ethics  
  Abstract The paper addresses the question of how operations research (OR) ought to handle decision problems that involve value conflicts. First, we note that early OR was considered essentially value free within the OR community, with a mechanistic systems perspective, although some voiced concern that an analyst should not detach herself from the consequences of her work. Then we propose a value conflict scale, which we use to assess the conflict levels in a small sample of OR applications. We then turn to value identification. In practise, organizational value statements include many kinds of values, and we discuss how values can be sorted out according to ethical categories, which helps in identifying consequentialistic decision criteria. The next question is how values can be enacted in a decision process. We review findings in neuroscience, which indicate that intra-personal decision-making takes place in a field of tension between deliberation and affect. The implication is that low level conflicts may leave decision-makers too cold for values to be enacted and therefore want infusion of emotion. On the other hand, emotions in high-level conflicts may run too high to give reason a chance. Emotions, therefore, need to be tempered and this can be achieved through at least two strategies: a focus on consequences rather than virtues and rules and discourse ethics. These are the subjects of the two last parts of the paper. We conclude by proposing five ethical rules for OR analysis of value conflicts. An analyst should not regard herself as being detached from the decision that are made, should be conscious that good decision-making requires temperate emotions that balance affect and deliberation, should promote focus on consequences, should promote the view that stakeholders have intrinsic value; they should not be treated instrumentally and should encourage fair processes to identify stakeholder values.  
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  Notes Approved  
  Call Number Admin @ admin @ WenstopKoppang2009 Serial 4703  
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