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Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide

By Martin Reynolds , Sue Holwell

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This compilation of readings is a practical guide for practitioners involved with managing complex and uncertain situations. At a time when the media continually tells of a world facing many crises, it provides an opportunity to gain understanding of robust approaches to managing complex and ever-changing situations more effectively. The Reader is used as a teaching resource on the new Open University postgraduate course Thinking strategically: system tools for managing change and it provides an introduction to five systems approaches: System dynamics (SD) developed originally in the late 1950s by Jay Wright Forrester, Viable systems method (VSM) developed originally in the late 1960s by Stafford Beer, Strategic options development and analysis (SODA: with cognitive mapping) developed originally in the 1960s by Colin Eden, Soft systems methodology (SSM) developed originally in the 1970s by Peter Checkland, Critical systems heuristics (CSH) developed originally in the early 1980s by Werner Ulrich.

Full Description

  • ISBN13: 978-1-8488-2808-7
  • 323 Pages
  • User Level: Students
  • Publication Date: March 10, 2010
  • Available eBook Formats: PDF
  • eBook Price: $89.95
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Full Description
In a world of increasing complexity, instant information availability and constant flux, systems approaches provide the opportunity of a tangible anchor of purpose and iterate learning. The five approaches outlined in the book offer a range of interchangeable tools with rigorous frameworks of application tried and tested in the ‘real world’. The frameworks of each approach form a powerful toolkit to explore the dynamics of how societies emerge, how organisations create viability, how to facilitate chains of argument through causal mapping, how to embrace a multiplicity of perspectives identifying purposeful activity and how to look for the bigger picture across multiple disciplines. Systems Approaches offers an excellent first introduction for those seeking to understand what ‘systems thinking’ is all about as well as why the tools discussed herein should be applied to management and professional practice. This book provides a practical guide, and the chapters stand alone in explaining and developing each approach.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. Introducing Systems Approaches.
  2. System Dynamics.
  3. The Viable System Model.
  4. Strategic Options Development and Analysis.
  5. Introduction to Soft Systems Methodology.
  6. Critical Systems Heuristics.
  7. Epilogue.
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