State our hypothesis and our research questions. In section 1.1, we presented the motivations for this work. They are rooted in an engineering perspective to problems of the artificial – corporate decisions and their processes “...being molded, by goals or purposes, to the environment in which it lives” and “characterized in terms of functions, goals, [and] adaptation (Simon 2001).” And as we discussed, we selected DOE as our engineering method. This led us to the research questions in Section 1.2. The following paragraphs outline our research approach to these questions.
Develop protocol for experiments. Our first step was to develop an experimental
protocol to embody our DOE-based decision-analysis approach into actionable
procedures. Following scholars in this field, we adapted the “canonical model” (e.g. Bell, Raiffa, and Tversky 1988, Baron 2000, Bazerman 2002) for decision-making as the architectural “pattern” (Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides 1995) for our protocol. We then proceeded to concept-test our method using our protocol. Test our concept with a surrogate. To concept-test, we used an artifact that behaves as a real firm. Such an artifact, in place of a real firm, served as our concept-testing vehicle for our decision-analysis method. The artifact is a system dynamics (Sterman 2000) model (Sterman, Repenning, and Kofman 1997) of Analog Devices Inc. (2006). This SD model was our “surrogate” to simulate a real firm. Following experimental practice (Yin 2003, Hoyle, Harris, Judd 2002), we subjected both our surrogate and its simulation results to tests of validity.