Experiencing GMA as a means of developing a conceptual model of the problem space involving understanding cascading effects in crises

Hayley Watson, Kim Hagen, Tom Ritchey


A complex challenge facing those involved in crisis management relates to how to manage cascading effects in crisis situations. This paper provides a practice-based insight into the use of General Morphological Analysis (GMA), a non-quantified modelling method that can enable a shared understanding of the various interdependencies involved in cascading crises, by creating a conceptual model of a problem space. This insight paper provides an understanding of the nature of the method, and to reveal the project-related experiences of the facilitator and researchers, thereby contributing to an understanding of the benefits and challenges associated with GMA. Authors find that GMA provided a useful means of a multidisciplinary group developing an initial conceptual model for a complex problem. Whilst a challenging experience, the method will be used for conducting gap analyses at a later stage in the project, thus providing benefits to understanding and managing cascading effects in crises. 

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