Combining system dynamics modeling with other methods: A systematic review

Mohammadreza Zolfagharian, Georges Romme, Bob Walrave


Although  a significant number of system dynamics (SD) studies draw on multi-method approaches, there is not much knowledge on when and how SD is combined with other methods. Yet, combining SD with other methods allows both researchers and practitioners to enhance the contribution of their modeling work. For a comprehensive review of current SD multi-method practices, this paper draws on an assessment of 45 studies that used SD modeling along with at least one other method. We adopt an evidence-based systematic approach in reviewing these studies and find that additional methods can be embedded in two main phases in the SD modeling process: conceptualization and simulation. Our review contributes to the multi-methodology research practice by consolidating one of the main areas where substantial experience in combining methods has been obtained. In addition, this paper provides insights and a reference point for system dynamicists who wish to go beyond stand-alone SD modeling in addressing complex problems. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research in this area.


System Dynamics, Multi-methodology, Conceptualization Phase, Simulation Phase, Systematic Review, Evidence-Based Management

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