Identifying Fruitful Combinations Between System Dynamics and Soft OR
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Berlin : Springer
InWaldmann, K.-H.; Stocker, U.M. (ed.), Operations Research Proceedings 2006, pp. 609-616
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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Waldmann, K.-H.; Stocker, U.M. (ed.), Operations Research Proceedings 2006
SubjectNON-RU research; Onderzoek niet-RU
Since the 1960s qualitative problem structuring methods have evolved mainly in the UK from traditional operational research, which are called „soft OR“. These methods focus on generating understanding of systems as a whole, on improving systems, and on personal learning. System dynamics has similar goals; therefore, it might be useful to combine it with soft OR. Some examples of combinations exist; however, these are mainly anecdotal. Thus, systematic research promises new insights and knowledge about the useful combination of soft OR and system dynamics in practice and theory. This has often been asked for but has not yet been established. In this paper a characterization of system dynamics is presented that can be used to find potential combinations of system dynamics and soft OR. More precisely, a framework designed by  for mapping methods is described. This framework characterizes methods along two dimensions: four steps of intervention processes and three domains, in which problem situations manifest: social, personal, and material world. System dynamics is mapped and thus characterized by this framework. On the one hand, the mapping highlights the strengths of system dynamics; on the other hand, it shows possibilities for useful combinations with soft OR. With this study, further steps to a systematic research of combinations between system dynamics and soft OR are undertaken. Based on the method characterization of system dynamics and soft OR, proposals for concrete combinations can be derived and contextual factors for successful combinations can be investigated.
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