System Dynamics

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System Dynamics

System Dynamics


Mental models are of immense importance in the decision making process as it defines the basis on which people takes decisions regarding their business activities. Systems dynamics is the study and practice that pre-dominantly revolves around the mental models and their development to the extent that is most favorable to business decision making, through enabling people to become more able systems thinkers and thus more aligned to a particular organizational setting. The process starts by the facilitator initiating Surfacing; the step through which employees of the client firm begins to bring out the assumptions on the basis of which they take decisions. These assumptions which now are made explicit to the facilitator trigger the model building process. Mental models of the participants (client's personnel) are assessed to gather the data and this data subsequently indicates the presence of the loopholes in the mental models depicted by complex systems. This data and the inherent loopholes in the model are then considered by the facilitator to design a mental model that is more complete and consistent, thus prompting more effective business decision making. The significance of systems dynamics cannot be denied but the process for drawing, changing and evaluating mental model itself possess certain limitations and thus it becomes imperative for them to be rectified so as to bring about positive changes in the mental models.


Answer 1: Part A

The article basically indicates the techniques that are used by the facilitators for surfacing of the assumptions on the back of which business decisions are taken. The techniques are faltered in certain aspects as a result of which the preliminary goals of system dynamics are not met. The facilitators are usually seen to run the whole procedure without keeping in mind the developments in the arena of cognitive psychology along with the developments pertaining to the psychology of judgment and decision making. Furthermore, systems dynamists are usually found to ignore the procedures that guard against the collection of biased data, thereby usually ending up with the data that is biased. Additionally, the aspect of evaluation is deeply faltered as they do not evaluate the efforts been put in and techniques used to improve the ability of systems thinkers effectively; also as a result of which the above loopholes most probably exists. With the follow-up techniques not being used and feed-back mechanism not being implemented, intervention techniques that are being used to implement more effective systems thinking fail to depict whether or not the changed mental model has succeeded to register any significant change and more effective business decision making.

As a result of this, the article presented has proposed and prompted the use of newer methodology that considers the weaknesses inherent in the previous techniques and addresses them through the inclusion of related elements that can guard against them and prevent practices that elicit biased data. The major loophole is in the measurement of the mental model. Facilitator aims to improve the model rather than first measuring the progress and determining ...
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