Ritual in systemic/soft operational research practice: An exercise

Activity: OtherPublic engagement, outreach and knowledge exchange - Public Lecture/debate/seminar


This session introduces ideas about ritual, with the aim of informing how we could conduct our systemic/soft operational research practice in new and possibly richer ways. After an introduction (helped by some personal memories of ritual), the session will present basic features of ritual as per Han (2020, The disappearance of Rituals ) and Seligman et al (2008, Ritual and its Consequences). After, we will invite participants to identify and reflect on their own 'rituals' in practice. A short role play exercise of how rituals are firmed up in and beyond a systemic/soft operational research intervention is performed. Examples to help this performance are using Midgley (2000)'s description of unemployment benefits sign off and others. Discussion of 'stages' of ritual (awakening, assembling, dispersing) and implications for future practice could follow.
Period14 Sept 2022
Event titleUK Operational Research Annual Conference: O4 64
Event typeConference
LocationCoventry, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Ritual
  • Systems Thinking
  • Operational Research
  • Role play
  • workshop