Decision Support Tools for Strategic Policy Analysis
New or improved decision analysis tools are developed in this thesis to address strategic policy analysis with specific focus on two topics: strategic conflict analysis and region-performance comparisons. A strategic conflict refers to a situation in which two or more decision makers (DMs) are to make a decision that affects issues over which they have different preferences. Various forms of strategic conflict exist all around us, in areas such as environmental management, international relations, economic competition, and relationships among individuals. The graph model for conflict resolution (GMCR) is an advanced and comprehensive tool to systematically study strategic conflicts. A well-known decision tool, the analytic network process (ANP) is adapted for use in strategic conflict analysis and a comparison of the performance of ANP with GMCR is carried out. Both methods are applied to an international trading conflict between the United States and China over the importation of television sets into the US in order to gain strategic insights about this dispute using the two different but complementary approaches. A country's overall performance comparison with respect to different kinds of indices such as economic, environmental and political indices constitutes another interesting topic for strategic policy analysis. An index aggregation approach is proposed to compare BRICSAM countries, a populous rapidly-growing economic group of nations consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations), and Mexico with G7 (Group of Seven), the most developed country club including Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States. A data-envelopment-analysis (DEA) based approach is proposed to aggregate different ranking indices for BRICSAM and the G7 countries. The proposed method can provide a fair overall assessment of a country's standing by maximizing its possibility of obtaining the best evaluation score. Finally, a framework to carry out generic strategic analysis for regions' competence analysis is designed based upon the theory of generic strategic analysis proposed by Porter (1980). This is a well-known approach for use in business competence analysis. The basic idea is to carry out generic strategic analysis in policy studies and two decision tools, DEA and the analytic hierarchy process, are employed to quantify the analysis of competence efficiency and potentiality, respectively. A case study of the competence analysis of provinces in China is used to demonstrate the analysis procedure.