Group Capabilities and Process Quality in Complex Problem Solving

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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During my (lean) consultancy assignments I experienced that many organisations and groups struggle with achieving improvement results, not having an effective process of problem solving. In my PhD research, I therefore explored the quality of groups’ problem-solving processes. In this research I used mixed-methods, with an important role for video observation of real life problem-solving teams. To study the problem-solving process I used the fine-grained six phase method of structured problem solving. This structured approach is often used in continous improvment strategies like Lean and Kaizen. To better understand the group problem-solving mechanism, theory from the Organizational Behaviour domain namely goal-setting, commitment-to-change, and sensemaking was used. My three empirical studies resulted in 1) a method to code, visualize and measure the group members’ problem-solving process and its quality, 2) process factors related to achieving measurable operational performance improvements, and 3) the impact of individual problem-solving preferences on the quality of the problem-solving process. With this research I contribute to theory more insights and a better understanding of the phase-based process of group problem solving. As for the practical relevance, the results of this research hold direct relevance for problem-solving groups and their facilitators, enhancing their ability to achieve operational performance improvements.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Wilderom, Celeste P.M., Supervisor
  • van Dun, Desirée H., Co-Supervisor
Award date17 Apr 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-6019-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-6020-7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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