Values are what stakeholders regard to be important to decisions (Kruglanski & Higgins 2007). How stakeholder prioritize, rank, balance, and trade-off values can have significant influence on their reasoning and evaluation of decommissioning outcomes and decisions. Stakeholder values can vary depending on various factors including religious beliefs, personal interests, and past experiences (Lechner et al., 2017). Value-focused thinking is a decision science theory developed by Keeney (1992) which builds upon the concept of varying stakeholder values. Keeney (1992) argues that the best decision is one that best reflects the actual values of stakeholders. which suggests that the acceptability of decommissioning decisions (full removal, partial removal, leave in-situ, rigs-to-reefs, etc.) by stakeholders will vary depending on the values of stakeholder in that particular context.
This paper explores the idea of value-focused thinking and derive implications for decommissioning decision-making. Overall, the research finding suggests that rather than basing a decommissioning decision solely on scientific evidence, there is also a need for the decommissioning decisions to be able to reflect the actual values of stakeholders in that particular context. The criteria and weightage of the adopted multi-criteria decision analysis tool, for example, should accurately represent the actual values of stakeholders, so as to enable the tool to produce outcomes and decisions that has a higher probability of stakeholder acceptance.