Modern Problem Finding Solving Theory In their theoretical work Nickerson and

Modern problem finding solving theory in their

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Modern Problem Finding Solving Theory. In their theoretical work, Nickerson and Zenger (2004) asserted the importance of the problem as unit of analysis (again, primarily in a problem solving context). They also introduced a coherent, economizing sequential logic that starts with problem finding, proceeds to problem solving, and leads finally to value capture; Beckman and Barry (2007) subsequently further decomposed problem formulation into two processes: discovery and choice of problem, as antecedents to problem solving processes. Gaps in the Literature: Empirical Work, over-focus on solving vs. Finding Problems. While Nickerson and Zenger (2004) theoretically explored the role of value creation within firms via a focus on problem-solving, Nickerson, Silverman and Zenger (2007, p. 214) put more emphasis on problem-formulation. They also updated prior work reflecting the crucial idea that biases matter in the problem formulation activity: “in…unconstrained-search contexts…biases are likely to be particularly severe impediments – impediments that contaminate efforts to discover and identify problems”
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(See also Ramaprasad and Mitroff, 1984). Hurmelinna-Laukkanen and Heiman (2012) pushed ahead incrementally by identifying new, testable candidates for biases to problem formulation performance, and by offering a plausible chain of logic organized around distinct logics for particular managerial decision points. Their study described a complete picture from awareness of bias, to problem formulation, to problem solving, and finally to value capture (economic performance). Contribution of This Paper. The most refined theory work on problem formulation is presently that of Baer, Dirks and Nickerson (2013) who offer a framework for problem formulation that takes into account team- / project-level conditions including heterogeneous information sets, objectives, and cognitive structures as well as their relationships to biases (i.e., impediments to problem formulation, see also Furr, Wuebker, & Nickerson, 2016). Baer, et al (2013) proffered an alluring methodology for choosing discrete organizing solutions by looking at how, and how well, each mitigates specific biases.
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  • Spring '11
  • Staff
  • Nickerson, strategic problem, Literature of Strategic Problem Formulation

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