Societal problems more complex than presumed: The Compram methodology

  • Dorien DeTombe


Complex societal problems are often wrongly addressed by politicians as mono-disciplinary, relatively easy to solve problems. By directly jumping to conclusions politicians overlook the complexity of the problems in their decision making process. Complex societal problems are generally interdisciplinary problems and should be addressed in a multi-disciplinary way considering the multiple actors and their interactions, the many variables involved, as well as the emotions that the problems provokes. These many interactions are the cause of the complexity of the problem handling process. It is high time that complex societal problems are addressed by the politicians in the right way using the methodology, methods and tools of the field of Methodology of Societal Complexity so the problems can be handled in an adequate, transparent, efficient and proper way, mitigating the damage the problems are causing. The field of Methodology of Societal Complexity developed ways to guide the problem handling process of complex societal problems for analysing, decision making and implementing interventions in an adequate, democratic and efficient way. The Compram methodology is a major methodology in this field and directs in a structured, democratic, and efficient way, the problem handling process of complex societal problems by using a multi-disciplinary, multi actor approach including emotional aspects. The OECD (2006) advised governments to handle complex societal problems that threaten global safety according to the Compram methodology. The universities should include issues of the field of Societal Complexity into their disciplines so that future managers are aware how complex societal problems should be handled.


Societal complexity Compram methodology 


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We like to thank the referees for their help to improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Systems Engineering Society of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research Society on Methodology of Societal ComplexityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Sichuan UniversityChengduP.R. China

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