University of Portsmouth researchers devise tool to help make decisions

Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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RESEARCHERS at the University of Portsmouth have devised the first 3D mapping tool to weigh up the relative value of opposing views when important decisions are being made by businesses.

It provides decision makers with a more accurate and fair way of ensuring the sometimes opposing views of customers and management, or pressure groups and shareholders, are all heard.

It is also dynamic, allowing for each group’s views to be given more or less weight depending on the nature of the decision being made.

It has become increasingly popular for businesses to map the relative importance of their stakeholders’ opinions and concerns before making decisions, but the researchers argue that the tools being used aren’t good enough.

Lead author Dr Jolanta Poplawska said: ‘Effectively managing the views of a large number of stakeholders is very complex for industry and the traditional tools for this are, we feel, too blunt and too fixed.

‘The importance of stakeholders is always in flux and the importance of any group to any project is likely to change and evolve over time.

‘The power or legitimacy of any group also depends entirely on who is measuring it.’

The new tool, a model which can be adapted for use by any organisation, is more accurate and objective, it takes into account the preferences of all key stakeholders, increasing the legitimacy of decisions taken.