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“On‐the‐spot” modeling and analysis: the facilitated modeling approach

Since the 1980s, an alternative to the traditional “expert” mode of model‐based consultancy has been suggested, where the management scientist acts both as an analyst and as a facilitator throughout the intervention. This alternative approach uses facilitated modeling as the main intervention tool, which requires the management scientist to carry out the whole intervention jointly with a team drawn from the client organization: from helping to structure and define the nature of the problem situation of interest, to supporting the evaluation of priorities and development of plans for subsequent implementation. This mode of engagement is particularly suitable for supporting the development of strategy, the analysis of policy issues, or the evaluation of high‐stake decisions. This article discusses the facilitative modeling paradigm in management science. Drawing on research scattered across a range of publications and domains, we provide a formal definition of facilitated modeling, examine its general characteristics, and briefly review a family of well‐established facilitated modeling approaches. We then discuss key issues to consider when designing facilitated modeling interventions, and identify some directions for future research.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science




VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publisher statement

This book chapter was published in the book Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science [© John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]. The definitive published version is available at

Publication date


Copyright date



9780470400630; 9780470400531




James J. Cochran; Louis A. Cox Jr.; Pinar Keskinocak; Jeffrey P. Kharoufeh; J. Cole Smith


Prof Alberto Franco. Deposit date: 29 April 2021