Soft systems methodology: other voices

Holwell, Sue (2000). Soft systems methodology: other voices. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 13(6) pp. 773–797.



This issue of Systemic Practice and Action Research, celebrating the work of Peter Checkland, in the particular nature and development of soft systems methodology (SSM), would not have happened unless the work was seen by others as being important. No significant contribution to thinking happens without a secondary literature developing. Not surprisingly, many commentaries have accompanied the ongoing development of SSM. Some of these are insightful, some full of errors, and some include both insight and absurdity. Checkland (1999, p. A42) opines, in the recently published 30-year retrospective, that "SSM has been ill-served by its commentators." Scrutiny of the secondary literature on SSM provides support for this view and also identifies some general characteristics and trends that are important to the development of SSM and, incidentally, reinforces some existing conclusions.

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