Systems Modelling. Theory and Practice

  • ID: 2240992
  • Book
  • 236 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Systems Modelling: Theory and Practice brings together some of the leading minds in the fields of Systems Modelling and Operational Research, to produce a book which addresses issues that are of both practical importance and theoretical significance. This union of the theory and practice of Systems Modelling incorporates both hard and soft aspects of Operational Research, creating a complementary approach that requires more than common sense and results in significant organizational benefits.

The contributors are from organizations and academic departments that are major users of systems modelling, meaning their experience will be vital to readers who are seeking to expand their level of understanding in the development of these models. This book will appeal to students of computing, management science and operational research, and to practitioners who understand the many possibilities and applications that this complementary approach could have in industry.

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List of contributors.



CHAPTER 1. Complementarity in systems modelling (Michael Pidd).
1.1 Systems modelling.
1.2 Messes and wicked problems.
1.3 Hard and soft approaches.
1.4 What do we mean by complementarity?

CHAPTER 2. Insights from complexity: organisational change and systems modelling (Michael Lyons).
2.1 Introduction.
2.2 Complex adaptive systems and complexity.
2.3 Complexity and management.
2.4 Working with systemic problems.
2.5 The simulation of complexity.
2.6 Conclusion: complementarity intrinsic to complexity?

CHAPTER 3. Classic OR and soft OR – an asymmetric complementarity (Peter Checkland and Sue Holwell).
3.1 Introduction.
3.2 Classic OR methodology.
3.3 Soft systems methodology.
3.4 Hard and soft perspectives.
3.5 The relation between ha rd and soft perspectives: an asymmetric complementarity.
3.6 Conclusion.

CHAPTER 4. The effectiveness of high–dependency care (Roth Kowalczyk).
4.1 Introduction.
4.2 The issues.
4.3 Effective high dependency care provision.
4.4 Methods and methodology.
4.5 Analysing the introduction of high dependency care.
4.6 Effects.
4.7 Conclusions.

CHAPTER 5. Complementarity in practice (George Paterson).
5.1 Introduction.
5.2 Organisational setting for or/ms practice.
5.3 Types of assistance available.
5.4 OR/MS in relation to other consulting offerings.
5.5 Models and modelling.
5.6 Examples from the oil and gas industry.
5.7 Complementarity of hard and soft.

CHAPTER 6. The complementary use of hard and soft OR in developing tax policy (Joyce Brown and Ceri Cooper).
6.1 Introduction.
6.2 Background.
6.3 The hard OR in the tax study.
6.4 The soft OR.
6.5 Complementarity.

CHAPTER 7. Mental models and learning in system dynamics practice (John Morecroft).
7.1 Introduction.
7.2 Mental models, transitional objects and formal models.
7.3 Models of business and social systems.
7.4 The BBC world service modelling project.
7.5 The impact on managerial thinking of the world service project.
7.6 Discussion.

CHAPTER 8. Using causal mapping – individual and group, traditional and new (Fran Ackermann and Colin Eden).
8.1 Background to mapping.
8.2 Modes of use.
8.3 Applications of mapping.
8.4 Some considerations in usage for problem solving and strategy development.
8.5 Organizational learning and forensic analysis through mapping.
8.6 Some considerations in usage for organisational learning.
8.7 Summary.

CHAPTER 9. Use of ′soft–or′ models by clients – what do they want from them? (Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann).
9.1 Introduction.
9.2 The nature of clients.
9.4 Delivering added value : problem structuring in groups – modelling as "structuring", negotiating, and agreeing.
9.5 Flexibility of tools and techniques having a wide range and being able to use them contingently.
9.6 Visual interactive modelling means workshops which means facilitation.
9.7 Issues of closure.
9.8 Summary.

CHAPTER 10. The status of models in defence systems engineering (Sean Price and Philip John).
10.1 Introduction.
10.2 What is systems engineering?
10.3 The nature of modern systems challenges.
10.4 Traditional problem domain boundaries.
10.5 The uses of models.
10.6 The status of models in systems engineering.
10.7 Conclusions.

CHAPTER 11. Complementarity in ministry of defence or practice (Alan P Robinson, George A Pickburn and Roger A Forder).
11.1 Introduction.
11.2 A high–level study.
11.3 Equipment acquisition studies.
11.4 The falcon communication system.
11.5 Defence logistics: "from factory to foxhole".
11.6 The strategic assessment method.
11.7 OA in the MoD.
11.8 Models, methods and strategy in mod OA.
11.9 Complementarity in MoD OA.
11.10 Final thoughts.

CHAPTER 12. Bringing it all together (Michael Pidd).
12.1 A personal reprise.
12.2 So, what can we learn?


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Mchael Pidd is Professor of Management Science at Lancaster University and a Past President of the Operational Research Society. His research interests focus on the development of usable models in management science and computer simulation and he has published widely in many academic journals and books. His authored books include the highly regardedTools for Thinking: Modelling in Management Science, now in its second edition, andComputer Simulation in Management Science, now in its fourth edition, (both published by John Wiley & Sons).
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