Volume 4, Issue 2, 2004
Professionalism, Passion and Doubt
Derek M. Eriksson
Making a Useful 'Model' for Managers
A Projective Constructivist Account
Models and modelling are central not only to management but to all human affairs. Models provide grounds for decision making and action-taking. This paper investigates the concept of model', showing that the conventional notion of a model as understood in management science, a notion founded on positivism and realism, is insufficient for the complex practical needs of management models. To remedy this situation, an alternative notion founded on Projective Constructivist Epistemology (PCE) is proposed. Some of the implications of the new notion for modelling practice and model validation are also discussed. The new notion results from theoretical investigations and empirical experience gleaned over the last five years in public-sector, military and business contexts. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of areas that might merit investigation in the future.