Rapid pace of changes and development in all
fields require organizations to continuously adapt to the new
circumstances. If an organization does not adapt to the new
circumstances it may become noncompetitive, and a long-term
existence of such an organization is therefore questionable.
Organizations must overcome this situation with organized and
systematic approach to solve complex soft problems.
This research experiment which
was part of disertation thesis explores
information technology impact on soft problem solving
effectiveness. A soft problem solving process and a model for
soft problem solving is defined. A model for soft problem
solving shows decomposition of soft problem into cause, goal and
solution. The model also presents roles of problem owner, client
Further a model of technology support for soft problem solving
is derived. A model for technology support of soft problem
solving presents an organized and systematic use of information
technology in a soft problem solving process. A soft problem
solving process is supported by an intranet application for soft
problem solving which we have developed.
Application for soft problem solving supports gathering of ideas
related to soft problem solving. Application for soft problem
solving also enables feedback information from soft problem
solving process by enablement of a view to other problem solver
This dissertation explores impact of an information technology
by enablement of a view to other problem solver ideas to enhance
effectiveness of soft problem solving. Effectiveness of soft
problem solving process is analyzed by means of number of given
ideas and time needed to generate the ideas. Application for
soft problem solving was thoroughly validated in nine
experiments with students.
The students which used information feedback from soft problem
solving process on average generated more ideas and they need
shorter time spent per idea compared to the control group which
did not use information feedback with risk of 0.05. Therefore we
can conclude that information technology improves effectiveness
of soft problem solving process by fostering generation of more
ideas in shorter time spent per idea.
Laboratory experiments also successfully validated and confirmed
proposed model for technological support of soft problem solving
process. Dissertation is concluded by presenting recommendations
for organizations on how to provide technological support for
solving of complex soft problems. We recommend organizations to
use technological support for soft problem solving process with
a use of feedback information to enhance its effectiveness.
Organizations, which support systematic solving of soft problems,
will be able to adapt more quickly to changes in environment and
will therefore be able stay competitive in the global rapidly
M.Sc. Gregor Lenart