Systems Thinking, Systems Practice

  title={Systems Thinking, Systems Practice},
  author={Peter Checkland},

Fifty years of systems thinking for management

An account of the last 50 years of systems thinking applied to management that is insightful and useful to those interested in the theory and practice of operational research (OR) and employs Boulding's well-known 'hierarchy of complexity' to think through the reasons for the emergence of different strands of applied systems thinking.

Critical systems thinking and practice

Varieties of systems thinking: The case of soft systems methodology

A number of ways of intervening rationally in human affairs are based on systems thinking: understanding real-world complexity via systems ideas. This article reviews the development of systems

Interaction and Transformation *

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is a framework for the exploration of ideas, beliefs, and assumptions about human activities, and it offers an innovative and effective approach to many of the problems

Weak Incommensurability and the Development of Systems Thinking

This paper proposes using a ‘weak’ definition of incommensurability and the "Paradigm Interplay Model" (PIM) as a means to transcend the current impasse in the Systems domain.

Practical Applications of Systems Thinking to Business

The research on Systems Thinking for business management is summarized and several examples of business failures due to a lack of application of Systems Thinking are explored, with an ultimate goal of offering a Systems Thinking approach that is useful to all levels of management.

Evaluating the Performance Efficacy of Systems Thinking Tools

The results of this exploratory research suggest that users of systems thinking tools proceed up a steep learning curve that causes a worse before better pattern of behavior.

An Investigation of Heuristics Used in the Construction of Conceptual Models

It is argued that the link between RD and CM is not as mechanical a process as some maintain, and indeed that the way in which experienced SSM practitioners construct CMs from RDs is still poorly understood.

From Optimizing to Learning: A Development of Systems Thinking for the 1990s

The relation between them is that the ‘hard’ is a special case of ‘soft’ systems thinking, which makes sense of the recent history of management science and helps to prepare for the 1990s.