Title: A proposed role for models and simulations in management research

Authors: Robert K. Perrons, Ken Platts

Addresses: Shell International Exploration and Production, Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands. ' University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing, 16 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK

Abstract: Overall, computer models and simulations have a rather disappointing record within the management sciences as a tool for predicting the future. Social and market environments can be influenced by an overwhelming number of variables, and it is therefore difficult to use computer models to make forecasts or to test hypotheses concerning the relationship between individual behaviours and macroscopic outcomes. At the same time, however, advocates of computer models argue that they can be used to overcome the human mind|s inability to cope with several complex variables simultaneously or to understand concepts that are highly counterintuitive. This paper seeks to bridge the gap between these two perspectives by suggesting that management research can indeed benefit from computer models by using them to formulate fruitful hypotheses.

Keywords: hypotheses; management science; modelling; prediction; simulation; management research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2006.009220

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2006 Vol.3 No.3, pp.245 - 253

Published online: 10 Mar 2006 *

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