Alcohol in the workplace: A Soft Systems approach

Samuel Osei-Nimo, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Cindy Millman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


This paper focuses on the topic of alcohol in contemporary work organisations. It aims to explore the relationship between the viewpoints of stakeholders regarding alcohol in the workplace and how they have subsequently shaped organisational practices. Therefore, the study examines the use of certain stages of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in addressing the extensive information gathered about alcohol in the United Kingdom workplace. This paper will give a description of the problem situation by identifying and organising the different worldviews, vested interests and any overlooked issues that are relevant to the issue of alcohol use or its misuse in the workplace. It will cover the diagrammatic representation of the problem situation, also known as the rich picture, which will include the diverse viewpoints and perspectives involved in the debate. This will unveil aspects of the research process such as the type and quality of the interviews conducted the variety of actors and experts involved in the debate, and the multiple discourses related to these experts.

Consequently, this research offers the possibility to identify some relevant systems in the form of discourses relating to the debate on alcohol in the workplace and finally the third stage of SSM which involves creating root definitions can be successfully undertaken. This methodological approach adopted will help structure a complex organisational, and often political issue. Consequently this allows the various stakeholders to understand the nuances and the interactions between power relations and discourses (expert and lay knowledge) related to the topic in an organised manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Academy of Management Annual Conference
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2020


  • Alcohol
  • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Office-based workplaces


Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol in the workplace: A Soft Systems approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this