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Systems Modelling Theory and Practice

ISBN-10: 0470867310
ISBN-13: 9780470867310
Edition: 2004
Authors: Michael Pidd
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Description: There has always been an uneasy relationship between the 'hard' and 'soft' schools of management science. Featuring original insights from leading lights in the field, this accessibly written book begins by examining theoretical aspects of the  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/26/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 236
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

There has always been an uneasy relationship between the 'hard' and 'soft' schools of management science. Featuring original insights from leading lights in the field, this accessibly written book begins by examining theoretical aspects of the hard/soft debate. It then goes on to consider how the two schools can be brought together in a new approach, integrating elements of both disciplines, and explores practical aspects of this with real-world examples. Highlights include Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann on soft OR models, Peter Checkland and Sue Holwell on classic and soft OR, and John Morecroft on learning in System Dynamics Practice. A concluding chapter brings the thinking of the contributors together and points the way forward.

List of contributors
Preface
Acknowledgements
Complementarity in Systems Modelling
Systems modelling
Messes and wicked problems
Hard and soft approaches
What do we mean by complementarity?
References
Insights from Complexity: Organizational Change and Systems Modelling
Introduction
Complex adaptive systems and complexity
Complexity and management
Working with systemic problems
The simulation of complexity
Conclusion: complementarity intrinsic to complexity?
References
"Classic" OR and "Soft" OR--an Asymmetric Complementarity
Introduction
Classic OR methodology
Soft systems methodology
"Hard" and "soft" perspectives
The relation between "hard" and "soft" perspectives: an asymmetric complementarity
Conclusion
References
The Effectiveness of High-Dependency Care
Introduction
The issues
Effective high-dependency care provision
Methods and methodology
Analysing the introduction of high-dependency care
Effects
Conclusions
References
Complementarity in Practice
Introduction
Organizational setting for OR/MS practice
Types of assistance available
OR/MS in relation to other consulting offerings
Models and modelling
Examples from the oil and gas industry
Complementarity of hard and soft
References
The Complementary use of Hard and Soft OR in Developing Tax Policy
Introduction
Background
The hard OR in the tax study
The soft OR
Complementarity
Acknowledgements
References
Mental Models and Learning in System Dynamics Practice
Introduction
Mental models, transitional objects and formal models
Models of business and social systems
The BBC World Service modelling project
The impact of the World Service Project on managerial thinking
Discussion
References
Using Causal Mapping--Individual and Group, Traditional and New
Background to mapping
Modes of use
Applications of mapping
Some considerations in usage for problem "solving" and strategy development
Organizational learning and forensic analysis through mapping
Some considerations in usage for organizational learning
Summary
References
Use of "Soft OR" Models by Clients--What do They Want from Them?
Introduction
The nature of clients
Politics and political feasibility
Delivering "added value": problem structuring in groups--modelling as "structuring", negotiating and agreeing
Flexibility of tools and techniques--having a wide range and being able to use them contingently
Visual interactive modelling means workshops which means facilitation
Issues of closure
Summary
References
The Status of Models in Defence Systems Engineering
Introduction
What is systems engineering?
The nature of modern systems challenges
Traditional problem domain boundaries
The uses of models
The status of models in systems engineering
Conclusions
References
Complementarity in Ministry of Defence or Practice
Introduction
A high-level study
Equipment acquisition studies
The Falcon communications system
Defence logistics: "from factory to foxhole"
The Strategic Assessment Method (SAM)
OA in the MoD
Models, methods and strategy in MoD OA
Complementarity in MoD OA
Final thoughts
References
Bringing it All Together
A personal reprise
So, what can we learn?
References
Index

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