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With a little help from our friends: how system dynamics and 'soft' OR can learn from each other

By David C. Lane


At its inception, the paradigm of system dynamics was deliberately made distinct from that of OR. Yet developments in soft OR now have much in common with current system dynamics modeling practice. This article briefly traces the parallel development of system dynamics and soft OR, and argues that a dialogue between the two would be mutually rewarding. To support this claim, examples of soft OR tools are described along with some of the field's philosophical grounding and current issues. Potential benefits resulting from a dialogue are explored, with particular emphasis on the methodological framework of system dynamics and the need for a comple-mentarist approach. The article closes with some suggestions on how to begin learning from the links between the two fields

Topics: HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.1002/sdr.4260100203
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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