The starting point of EPRM learning cycle is a problematical and messy situation.
The main activities of the EPRM learning cycle involve specific methods or skills.
Therefore, it is of vital importance that the EPRM users have the ability and methods to identify all stakeholders.
EPRM puts emphasis on stimulating pluralistic interest surfacing of various groups, encourages gaming players to describe problems situation from their own perspective of world view and interests, and deems this process as the basis for interest coordination.
Compared with SSM's 'comparison', EPRM presents value/interest conflict and evidence contradiction with the meta-synthesis supported seminar gaming, which facilitates the surfacing of these conflicts, so as to make the gaming players and methodology users to identify the focus of conflicts more clearly.
Fourthly, EPRM enables participants from different sides to reach creative win-win solution.
Compared with the 'assumption-negotiation' in SAST and 'finding accommodation' in SSM, EPRM puts more emphasis on the application of supporting methods in interest coordination and negotiation stages.
Different from SSM, the result of an EPRM intervention is not the 'action to improve'.
The EPRM is deemed as a policy research methodology at the early stage of its development, as could be seen from its name.
According to the different possibilities for combining methodologies (Mingers, 1997; Mingers and Brocklesby, 1997), EPRM is a multiparadigm methodology embracing soft systems thinking, hard systems thinking as well as emancipatory systems thinking paradigm.
Besides the analogy with SSM's learning cycle, EPRM is similar to SAST in debate form (Mason and Mitroff, 1981).
EPRM also assimilates emancipatory systems thinking in three aspects.