Systemic crises? Why strategic thinking needs critical systems practice

Reynolds, Martin (2012). Systemic crises? Why strategic thinking needs critical systems practice. In: 8th HSSS National and International Conference: Systems Approach to Strategic Management, 5-7 Jul 2012, Thessaloniki, Greece.

URL: http://www.2012.hsss.eu/1_2/HomePage

Abstract

The term systemic failure is one used with increasing frequency particularly by journalists and politicians to account for things going wrong in an increasingly complex and uncertain world. But what does it actually mean from a systems thinking perspective, and how might effective strategic thinking in management practice reduce incidences of systemic failure? From a systems thinking in practice perspective three interwoven traps contribute to systemic failure reductionism, dogmatism, and managerialism. Using the example of systemic failure of academic economics in averting the global financial crisis – as expressed by prominent economists themselves - each of the three traps is explored. Drawing on a framework for systems thinking in practice informed by the critical systems practice of systemic triangulation, some practical tools from systems approaches are introduced to counter traps of systemic failure.

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