Soft Systems Methodology in Action

This work established the now accepted distinction between 'hard' systems thinking, in which parts of the world are taken to be 'systems' which can be 'engineered', and 'soft' systems thinking in which the focus is on making sure the ...

Soft Systems Methodology in Action

Soft Systems Methodology in Action "Whether by design, accident or merely synchronicity, Checkland appears to have developed a habit of writing seminal publications near the start of each decade which establish the basis and framework for systems methodology research for that decade." Hamish Rennie, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 1992 Thirty years ago Peter Checkland set out to test whether the Systems Engineering (SE) approach, highly successful in technical problems, could be used by managers coping with the unfolding complexities of organizational life. The straightforward transfer of SE to the broader situations of management was not possible, but by insisting on a combination of systems thinking strongly linked to real-world practice Checkland and his collaborators developed an alternative approach - Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) - which enables managers of all kinds and at any level to deal with the subtleties and confusions of the situations they face. This work established the now accepted distinction between 'hard' systems thinking, in which parts of the world are taken to be 'systems' which can be 'engineered', and 'soft' systems thinking in which the focus is on making sure the process of inquiry into real-world complexity is itself a system for learning. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice (1981) and Soft Systems Methodology in Action (1990) together with an earlier paper Towards a Systems-based Methodology for Real-World Problem Solving (1972) have long been recognized as classics in the field. Now-Peter Checkland has looked back over the three decades of SSM development, brought the account of it up to date, and reflected on the whole evolutionary process which has produced a mature SSM. SSM: A 30-Year Retrospective, here included with Soft Systems Methodology in Action closes a chapter on what is undoubtedly the most significant single research programme on the use of systems ideas in problem solving. Now retired from full-time university work, Peter Checkland continues his research as a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow.

Information in Action

This book is aimed primarily for students of the management of information.

Information in Action


Learning For Action

After an explanation of the book?s purpose, the authors provide in Part 1 first an overview of SSM as a whole, then a fleshed-out account with just enough detail and advice to enable the reader to set about using the approach in problem ...

Learning For Action

After an explanation of the book?s purpose, the authors provide in Part 1 first an overview of SSM as a whole, then a fleshed-out account with just enough detail and advice to enable the reader to set about using the approach in problem situations of concern. Part 2 describes examples of SSM in action and also pays special attention to one of the most common application areas: that of work in the information system/information technology field. A final chapter in part 2 discusses the difficulties some people have in grasping the true nature of SSM, drawing attention to the inadequacies in much of the secondary literature. Appendices provide an outline of the theoretical considerations which underpin SSM, a guide to sources of further information and illustrations of some of SSM?s techniques.

Soft Systems Thinking Methodology and the Management of Change

Featuring a unique prologue tracing the history of Systems Engineering back to its beginning in Lancaster in 1966, this authoritative text reflects on the evolutionary process of arguably the most significant research programme on the use ...

Soft Systems Thinking  Methodology and the Management of Change

What is Soft Systems Methodology? How can it help make sense of complex business scenarios, providing solutions to challenging problems? Soft Systems Thinking, Methodology and the Management of Change identifies the challenges encountered by practitioners of SSM and provides the means of overcoming them. Featuring a unique prologue tracing the history of Systems Engineering back to its beginning in Lancaster in 1966, this authoritative text reflects on the evolutionary process of arguably the most significant research programme on the use of systems ideas in problem solving. It explores how this branch of systems-based thinking is applied and brings SSM firmly into the modern day. Key benefits: • Written by one of the major developers of SSM • Demonstrates the use of Conceptual Model Building • Includes a range of in-depth case studies and gives real-world guidance on the use of SSM

Rethinking the Fifth Discipline

As we will see below, the principles for action recommended by Checkland in soft
systems methodology reflect quite clearly such interpretive thinking. Soft systems
methodology Checkland's action research programme led him to appreciate ...

Rethinking the Fifth Discipline

'Fifth Discipline' is one of the very few approaches to management that has attained position on the International Hall of Fame. Professor Flood's book explains and critiques the ideas in straight forward terms. This book makes significant and fundamental improvements to the core discipline - systemic thinking. It establishes crucial developments in systemic thinking in the context of the learning organisation, including creativity and organisational transformation. It is therefore a very important text for strategic planners, organisational change agents and consultants. The main features of the book include: * a review and critique of 'Fifth Discipline' and systemic thinking * an introduction to the gurus of systemic thinking - Senge, Bertalanffy, Beer, Ackoff, Checkland, and Churchman *a redefinition of management through systemic thinking *a guide to choosing, implementing and evaluating improvement strategies *Practical illustrations. Robert Flood is a renowned and authoritative expert in the field of management. He has implemented systemic management in a wide range of organisations in many continents and lectured by invitation in 25 countries, including Japan and the USA. Professor Flood has featured on many radio and TV programs. His book Beyond TQM was nominated for the 'IMC Management Book of the Year 1993'.

Systems Thinking Systems Practice

This work established the now accepted distinction between 'hard' systems thinking, in which parts of the world are taken to be 'systems' which can be 'engineered', and 'soft' systems thinking in which the focus is on making sure the ...

Systems Thinking  Systems Practice

Systems Thinking, Systems Practice "Whether by design, accident or merely synchronicity, Checkland appears to have developed a habit of writing seminal publications near the start of each decade which establish the basis and framework for systems methodology research for that decade." Hamish Rennie, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 1992 Thirty years ago Peter Checkland set out to test whether the Systems Engineering (SE) approach, highly successful in technical problems, could be used by managers coping with the unfolding complexities of organizational life. The straightforward transfer of SE to the broader situations of management was not possible, but by insisting on a combination of systems thinking strongly linked to real-world practice Checkland and his collaborators developed an alternative approach - Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) - which enables managers of all kinds and at any level to deal with the subtleties and confusions of the situations they face. This work established the now accepted distinction between 'hard' systems thinking, in which parts of the world are taken to be 'systems' which can be 'engineered', and 'soft' systems thinking in which the focus is on making sure the process of inquiry into real-world complexity is itself a system for learning. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice (1981) and Soft Systems Methodology in Action (1990) together with an earlier paper Towards a Systems-based Methodology for Real-World Problem Solving (1972) have long been recognized as classics in the field. Now Peter Checkland has looked back over the three decades of SSM development, brought the account of it up to date, and reflected on the whole evolutionary process which has produced a mature SSM. SSM: A 30-Year Retrospective, here included with Systems Thinking, Systems Practice closes a chapter on what is undoubtedly the most significant single research programme on the use of systems ideas in problem solving. Now retired from full-time university work, Peter Checkland continues his research as a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow.

Systems Concepts in Action

Systems thinking, systems practice: A 30 year retrospective. New York: John
Wiley and Sons. Checkland, Peter, and Jim Scholes. 1999. Soft Systems
Methodology in action: A 30-year retrospective. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Checkland ...

Systems Concepts in Action

Systems Concepts in Action: A Practitioner's Toolkit explores the application of systems ideas to investigate, evaluate, and intervene in complex and messy situations. The text serves as a field guide, with each chapter representing a method for describing and analyzing; learning about; or changing and managing a challenge or set of problems. The book is the first to cover in detail such a wide range of methods from so many different parts of the systems field. The book's Introduction gives an overview of systems thinking, its origins, and its major subfields. In addition, the introductory text to each of the book's three parts provides background information on the selected methods. Systems Concepts in Action may serve as a workbook, offering a selection of tools that readers can use immediately. The approaches presented can also be investigated more profoundly, using the recommended readings provided. While these methods are not intended to serve as "recipes," they do serve as a menu of options from which to choose. Readers are invited to combine these instruments in a creative manner in order to assemble a mix that is appropriate for their own strategic needs.

Applications of Soft Systems Methodology for Organizational Change

Information in action: Soft systems methodology. London: Macmillan. doi:10.1007
/978-1-349-12698-9 Flood, R., & Jackson, M. (1991). Creative problem solving:
Total system intervention. Chichester: Wiley. Flood, R.L., & Carson, E.R. (1988).

Applications of Soft Systems Methodology for Organizational Change

Systems thinking is a method of problem solving that deals with various cultural issues including conflict and compromise. In recent years, researchers have begun studying this approach and applying it within several professional fields, specifically organizations and business management. In the modern age of information, professionals are continually looking for new methods to improve traditional practices within their field. Improving organizational practices through the implementation of the soft systems approach is a growing research area that requires in-depth discussion and case studies. Applications of Soft Systems Methodology for Organizational Change is a collection of innovative research on the theories and practices of soft systems and their application within organizational and industrial analysis. While highlighting topics including agent-based modeling, sustainable energy initiatives, and natural resources allocation, this book is ideally designed for researchers, designers, managers, analysts, practitioners, executives, academicians, and students seeking current research on the theories and applications of soft systems design.

Information Systems Provision

Information Systems Provision


Challenging Tradition

Bob Dick, “Postgraduate Programs Using Action Research,” The Learning
Organization 9, no. 3/4 (2002): 159, ... and continually changes.” Peter
Checkland and Jim Scholes, Soft Systems Methodology in Action (New York:
Wiley, 1999), A4.

Challenging Tradition

The surge of theological education in the rapidly growing church of the Majority World has highlighted the inadequacy of traditional Western methods of thinking and learning to fully accomplish the task at hand. The limitations of current theological education are embodied in the formation and assessment of the master’s or doctoral dissertation; processes that follow a linear-empiricist tradition developed in the West and exported to the Majority World. Challenging Tradition: Innovation in Advanced Theological Studies highlights the need for these traditions to be reconsidered in every context throughout the world. Drs Shaw and Dharamraj, with their team of contributors, present innovations in research and documentation that demonstrate how we may better prepare theological leadership through means that are contextually relevant and locally meaningful.

Advances in E Learning Experiences and Methodologies

technology or human-centred e-Learning systems design? is intended to
demonstrate an acute case of the kind of ... Separately because the individual
contributions included Schön's “The Reflective Practitioner: and Checkland's “
Soft Systems Methodology. ... Checkland and Soft Systems Methodology) in the
second of his major texts, Soft Systems Methodology in Action (Checkland &
Scholes, 1990).

Advances in E Learning  Experiences and Methodologies

Web-based training, known as e-learning, has experienced a great evolution and growth in recent years, as the capacity for education is no longer limited by physical and time constraints. The emergence of such a prized learning tool mandates a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness and implications of e-learning. Advances in E-Learning: Experiences and Methodologies explores the technical, pedagogical, methodological, tutorial, legal, and emotional aspects of e-learning, considering and analyzing its different application contexts, and providing researchers and practitioners with an innovative view of e-learning as a lifelong learning tool for scholars in both academic and professional spheres.

Systems Approaches to Managing Change A Practical Guide

She has wide experience with both public and private organizations through
consultancy and action research. ... The 'failure' of the early work highlighted a
different direction that ultimately yielded Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as an
 ...

Systems Approaches to Managing Change  A Practical Guide

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.

Realising Systems Thinking Knowledge and Action in Management Science

I will illustrate this with two commonly used methodologies from different
paradigms—statistical modelling and soft systems methodology (SSM). These
originate in empiricism and interpretivism respectively but, contra Jackson, I
argue that they ...

Realising Systems Thinking  Knowledge and Action in Management Science

This book deals with the contribution of a systems approach to a range of disciplines from philosophy and biology to social theory and management. It weaves together material from some of the pre-eminent thinkers of the day. In doing so it creates a coherent path from fundamental work on philosophical issues of ontology and epistemology through specific domains of knowledge about the nature of information and meaning, human communication, and social intervention.

Operational Research and the Social Sciences

It cannot analyse the unintended consequences of human action. It cannot
account for properties of collective as distinct from individual human action.
SOCIAL THEORY OF SOFT SYSTEMS METHODOLOGY Systems engineering is
implicitly ...

Operational Research and the Social Sciences

Twenty five years ago, in 1964, The Operational Research Society's first International Conference (held at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge) took as its theme "Operational Research and the Social Sciences". The Conference sessions were organised around topics such as: Organisations and Control; Social Effects of Policies; Conflict Resolution; The Systems Concept; Models, Decisions and Operational Research. An examination of the published proceedings (J.R.Lawrence ed., 1966, Operational Research and the Social Sciences, Tavistock, London) reveals a distinct contrast between the types of contribution made by the representatives of the two academic communities involved. Nevertheless, the Conference served to break down some barriers, largely of ignorance about the objects, methods and findings of each concern. In the ensuing twenty five years, although debate has continued about the relationship between OR and the social sciences, mutual understanding has proved more difficult to achieve than many must have hoped for in 1964.

Operational and strategic decision making

For each situation, relevant theories are explained and applied to practice, prior to critically analysing and evaluating them. The author concludes with the findings on each of the three issues by the means of review and perspectives.

Operational and strategic decision making

Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 1,8, Heilbronn Business School, course: Decision and Informatin Analysis (MBA), 22 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: This report refers to the MBA course module “decision and information analysis” and is divided in three parts, depending on each given situation. In doing so, the author refers to three different practical situations, all of them referring to different theories and techniques, namely (1) Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), (2) Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and (3) Alexandrian Pattern Analysis (APA) applied to Metcalfe’s law. All assumptions are stated and reasoned in the appendix. This report aims to give an insight into how these theoretical methods can be applied to practical challenges, demonstrating a critical analysis of the respective issues. For each situation, relevant theories are explained and applied to practice, prior to critically analysing and evaluating them. The author concludes with the findings on each of the three issues by the means of review and perspectives.

Best Practices and Conceptual Innovations in Information Resources Management Utilizing Technologies to Enable Global Progressions

Soft systems methodology in action. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Clegg,
B. (2006), Business process orientated holonic (PrOH) modeling, Business
Process Management Journal, 12(4), 410-432 Alter, S. (2006). The work system ...

Best Practices and Conceptual Innovations in Information Resources Management  Utilizing Technologies to Enable Global Progressions

"This book offers insight into emerging developments in information resources management and how these technologies are shaping the way the world does business, creates policies, and advances organizational practices"--Provided by publisher.

The SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Management Research

... activity theory; hermeneutics action learning 15–17, 43, 65–6 see also action
research; action science; cognitive science; design sciences; epistemic science;
human science; Mode 2; soft systems methodology action research 17–19 versus
 ...

The SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Management Research

'This comprehensive work extends general ideas, concepts, and techniques of qualitative research into the realm of management research...This is a crucial reference tool for anyone conducting research in this field of study' - CHOICE With over 100 entries on key concepts and theorists, the Dictionary of Qualitative Management Research provides full coverage of the field, explaining fundamental concepts and introducing new and unfamiliar terms. This book provides: - Definitions - Examples in the field of management studies - Criticisms and possible future directions Engagingly written by specialists in each area, this dictionary will be the definitive and essential companion to established textbooks and teaching materials in qualitative management research.

Soft Systems Methodology

Despite the recognition of the importance of the SSM, students are still experiencing difficulty with the basic process of conceptual model building. This book addresses that issue.

Soft Systems Methodology

"SSM offers an elegantly simple approach that is both powerful, yet non-threatening and one that forces organisations to confront questions essential to their very survival such as, "Are we doing the right thing?" From the Foreword by Mike Duffy, Operations Director, The Smith Group Since its inception more than thirty years ago, the benefits of using Soft Systems Methodology for problem solving has gained worldwide recognition. Yet, despite recognising the importance of SSM, students and practitioners still experience considerable difficulty with the intellectual process involved. Based on a lifetime experience as an academic and consultant, Brian Wilson provides guidance on how to develop a range of conceptual models across a variety of business problems. Building on his earlier work in Systems: Concepts, Methodologies and Applications he takes a practical approach to the topic based on the premise that all organisations are unique. He develops concepts to articulate ways of thinking about complexity. These are an alternative to mathematically-based concepts, and they offer rigorous, and defensible ways of answering the question 'What do we take the organisation to be?' A model of the most appropriate and relevant concept for your own organisation can then be successfully developed and applied. Of relevance to organisations of any type, or any size, this book shows how model building within SSM can be used to cope with real-life problems. It will be an invaluable resource for students and practitioners in both the public and private sectors.

Knowledge Management Organizational Memory and Transfer Behavior Global Approaches and Advancements

Soft Systems Methodology: a 30year retrospective. Systems Research and
Behavioral Science, 17, S11-S58. Checkland, P., & Scholes, J. (1990). Soft
Systems Methodology in Action. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Chow, C.,
Harrison, ...

Knowledge Management  Organizational Memory and Transfer Behavior  Global Approaches and Advancements

"This book captures an in-depth knowledge base on the most current and useful concepts, applications, and processes relevant to the successful management of knowledge assets"--Provided by publisher.