July 17, 2020
How do you solve a problem like Pereira?
How do you solve problems in the face of adversity? The question is perhaps oxymoronic or tautological given that a problem equates to adversity. So, we might as well ask how do you solve problems?
Leandro Ferreira Pereira of the Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL) at ISCTE and José Pedro Santos of Winning Scientific Management in Portugal, explain that one of the current challenges in organizations relates strongly to decision-making in adverse, uncertain, and complex environments. There are many formal approaches to problem solving that managers might use: the fishbone diagram, root cause analysis and five whys, for instance.
Pereira and Santos point out that most of them have significant limitations in how they assess a problem and its causes. As such the team has developed and tested 'Pereira problem solving' and compared it with ad hoc approaches used in various organizations. The Pereira approach has a more mathematical stance in problem solving. The team explains that the study was preliminary in nature and utilized convenient samples to test the model. Future work will be broader and compare different business sectors, including energy, telecommunications, banking, and retail.