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    If you are having problems specifying your problem

  • Try identifying the stakeholders. Stakeholders are any group or individual with a vital interest at stake in the situation at hand.
  • Project yourself imaginatively into the perspectives of each stakeholders. How does the situation look from their standpoint? What are their interests? How do they feel about their interests?
  • Compare the results of these different imaginative projections. Do any stakeholder interests conflict? Do the stakeholders themselves stand in conflict?
  • If the answer to one or both of these questions is "yes" then this is your problem statement. How does one reconcile conflicting stakeholders or conflicting stakeholder interests in this situation?

    Framing your problem

  • We miss solutions to problems because we choose to frame them in only one way.
  • For example, the Mountain Terrorist Dilemma is usually framed in only one way: as a dilemma, that is, a forced decision between two equally undesirable alternatives. (Gilbane Gold is also framed as a dilemma: blow the whistle on Z-Corp or go along with the excess polution.)
  • Framing a problem differently opens up new horizons of solution. Your requirement from this point on in the semester is to frame every problem you are assigned in at least two different ways.
  • For examples of how to frame problems using socio-technical system analysis see module m14025.
  • These different frames are summarized in the next box below.

    Different frames for problems

  • Technical Frame : Engineers frame problems technically, that is, they specify a problem as raising a technical issue and requiring a technical design for its resolution. For example, in the Hughes case, a technical frame would raise the problem of how to streamline the manufacturing and testing processes of the chips.
  • Physical Frame : In the Laminating Press case, the physical frame would raise the problem of how the layout of the room could be changed to reduce the white powder. Would better ventilation eliminate or mitigate the white powder problem?
  • Social Frame : In the "When in Aguadilla" case, the Japanese engineer is uncomfortable working with the Puerto Rican woman engineer because of social and cultural beliefs concerning women still widely held by men in Japan. Framing this as a social problem would involve asking whether there would be ways of getting the Japanese engineer to see things from the Puerto Rican point of view.
  • Financial or Market-Based Frames : The DOE, in the Risk Assessment case below, accuses the laboratory and its engineers of trying to extend the contract to make more money. The supervisor of the head of the risk assessment team pressures the team leader to complete the risk assessment as quickly as possible so as not to lose the contract. These two framings highlight financial issues.
  • Managerial Frame : As the leader of the Puerto Rican team in the "When in Aguadilla" case, you need to exercise leadership in your team. The refusal of the Japanese engineer to work with a member of your team creates a management problem. What would a good leader, a good manager, do in this situation? What does it mean to call this a management problem? What management strategies would help solve it?
  • Legal Frame : OSHA may have clear regulations concerning the white powder produced by laminating presses. How can you find out about these regulations? What would be involved in complying with them? If they cost money, how would you get this money? These are questions that arise when you frame the Laminating Press case as a legal problem.
  • Environmental Framing : Finally, viewing your problem from an environmental frame leads you to consider the impact of your decision on the environment. Does it harm the environment? Can this harm be avoided? Can it be mitigated? Can it be offset? (Could you replant elsewhere the trees you cut down to build your new plant?) Could you develop a short term environmental solution to "buy time" for designing and implementing a longer term solution? Framing your problem as an environmental problem requires that you ask whether this solution harms the environment and whether this harming can be avoided or remedied in some other way.

Questions & Answers

how do we prove the quadratic formular
Seidu Reply
hello, if you have a question about Algebra 2. I may be able to help. I am an Algebra 2 Teacher
Shirley Reply
thank you help me with how to prove the quadratic equation
may God blessed u for that. Please I want u to help me in sets.
what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
hi vedant can u help me with some assignments
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Using the ethics bowl to integrate ethics into the business and professional curriculum. OpenStax CNX. Dec 20, 2009 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10411/1.2
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