Spontaneous emergence of Community OR: self-initiating, self-organising problem structuring mediated by social media
European Journal of Operational Research
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 31 January 2020 in compliance with publisher policy.
We develop a new constitutive definition of Community OR as a self-initiating, selforganising community actor network emerging spontaneously in response to a triggering event and showing evidence of non-codified OR behaviours leading to action to improve the problem situation. From this new definition we have re-conceptualised Community OR as a construct that can be empirically observed emerging from suitable behavioural data. Social media play an instrumental role, acting as both the source of data and the enabling mechanism through which this form of Community OR occurs. Social media afford new possibilities for community empowerment and participation, with consequences for social enterprise and citizenship. We use Actor Network Theory, and specifically the language of translations, hybrid forums, and Callon’s Co-production of Knowledge Model (CKM), as the methodological basis for our definition and analysis. The appearance of hybrid forums as a selforganising response to community needs after an event would seem to be a natural milieu for a range of OR competencies. However, unlike traditional practitioner-led engagements, here the OR practitioner’s competency enters in a supportive rather than leading role. We support our argument through the analysis of social media data arising from the community response to a devastating flooding event – the Carlisle floods of December 2015.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Published online 31 January 2018.