Critical Systems Criteria for Evaluating Interventions

  • Gerald Midgley

Abstract

Whether or not any particular intervention can be described as critical or systemic is a matter of judgement. An intervener may claim to be acting critically or systemically, but this claim may be subject to argumentation by others. There can therefore be no absolute definition of what it means to undertake a critical systems intervention. Although this may be the case, it is nevertheless still possible to propose criteria for judging whether an intervention is critical or systemic, around which argumentation can take place. This paper suggests that an actual or proposed intervention may be judged as critical and systemic (or not) on the basis of the view of improvement it takes, the critique that it embodies, and the appropriateness of the methods that it uses. These criteria are derived from the three interdependent themes that form an agenda for Critical Systems Thinking: improvement, critical awareness and methodological pluralism. The three themes have been labelled as such by Midgley (1995a), adapting the different ideas and terminologies of Jackson (1991a), Schecter (1991) and Flood and Jackson (1991a).

Keywords

Critical System Critical Awareness System Methodology System Practice Tribal People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Midgley
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Systems Studies, Department of Management Systems and SciencesUniversity of HullHullUK

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