Monthly Archives: May 2020

“Qualitative Data in the Service of Model Building: The Case of Structural Shirking” by Patrycja Antosz and Harko Verhagen


Abstract This chapter shows how qualitative data can inform building compu- tational models. The general issue is illustrated with the example of a model of structural shirking in organisations, i.e. insufficient time and effort stemming from the structure of the performed work. The first attempt to build a model of shirking with the use of assumptions present in social scientific theories displayed many shortcomings. Thus, a mixed-methods approach was chosen to inform the development of a second computational model. Conceptualising the second model began with performing individual IDIs with managers and lower-level employees and augmenting them with analyses of Polish legislation regulating employment relationships. Initial findings were enriched with theoretical assumptions. The complete concept of the mechanism of structural shirking was operationalised as a computational model. Having developed both models, we discuss the phenomenon of shirking informing theories and real-world practices, as well as ways to study these practices in novel forms.

Keywords Shirking · Work performance · Mixed methods · Empirical-based model · Theory-based model

In: H. Verhagen et al. (eds.), Advances in Social Simulation – looking in the mirror, Springer Proceedings in Complexity, pp. 33-45.

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