In this paper, the use of multivariate statistical analysis techniques to aid in conflict analysis in a multi-actor group is demonstrated. In particular, the covariance biplot technique is focused on and the resulting graphical output, called the conflict diagram, is interpreted in terms of relationships between actors, profiles of alternatives under consideration, and the interactions between actors and alternatives in terms of the conflict and its possible resolutions (consensus, coalition, etc.). The conflict analysis is divided into two distinct phases. The descriptive phase is used to represent the conflict. The prescriptive phase is used in two ways: (i) to visualize the effects of changes in parameters (‘conflict resolution aid’), hopefully bringing the actors closer together, and (ii) as a tool to enhance the creative search for new alternatives (‘alternative generation’). The conflict analysis process is illustrated by examining ex post a practical case study in water resource management.
- multi-actor multi-criteria decision analysis
- conflict analysis
- multivariate analysis