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Systems Thinking, Mapping, and Group Model Building

  • George P. RichardsonEmail author
  • David F. Andersen
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The use of systems modeling and simulation contributes an endogenous dynamic perspective to group negotiations and decision-making. In the field of system dynamics, group (participatory) model building has a rich history and growing literature. This chapter provides an introduction. It discusses the roles required to handle the intricacies of facilitation and group modeling and identifies the tension inherent in models as “microworlds” or “boundary objects” (see “Group Decision Support Systems: a case study”). It overviews the group model building process and focuses most extensively on an accumulating body of scripts for group modeling, including scripts for introducing model concepts, initiating systems mapping, eliciting system feedback structure, formulating formal models with client groups, and using them to help build a negotiated consensual view of their shared mental models (see “Group Decision Support Systems: a case study”). The keys to the success of group modeling building efforts appear to be engaging stakeholders, sharing mental models formally, assembling and managing complexity, using simulation to test scenarios and support or refute hypotheses, working toward alignment, and empowering people to have confidence in the strategies that emerge.

Keywords

Boundary object System dynamic modeling Welfare reform Client group Modeling team 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and PolicyUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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