Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue
(2010). Epilogue: systems approaches and systems practice.
In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds.
Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide.
London: Springer, pp. 293–306.
Each of the five systems approaches discussed in this volume: system dynamics (SD), the viable systems model (VSM), strategic options development and analysis (SODA), soft systems methodology (SSM) and critical systems heuristics (CSH) has a pedigree. Not in the sense of the sometimes absurd spectacle of animals paraded at dog shows. Rather, their pedigree derives from their systems foundations, their capacity to evolve and their flexibility in use. None of the five approaches has developed out of use in restricted and controlled contexts of either low or high levels of complicatedness. Neither has any one of them evolved as a consequence of being applied only to situations with either presumed stakeholder agreement on purpose, or courteous disagreement amongst stakeholders, or stakeholder coercion. The compilation is not a celebration of abstract ‘methodologies’, but of theoretically robust approaches that have a genuine pedigree in practice.
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