• Ricardo Barros
  • Gerald Midgley
  • Luis Pinzón


Critical Systems Thinking, Systemic Intervention, Methodological Design, Boundary Critique, Methodological Pluralism, Agents’ identities, Communities of Practice


Systemic intervention focuses on both methodological pluralism and boundary critique which makes explicit the need to explore issues and people included, excluded, or marginalised in the systemic analysis. This research perspective also concerns about the agent identities. Within a systemic intervention there is a need to surface different interpretations of agent identities. Although some attempts to analyse agent identities have been proposed, there is still a need to generate analytical frameworks about identity within a systemic intervention, taking into account the social learning process of those agents involved in the intervention. This paper thus presents a conceptual framework that includes the social aspects of learning, in particular the Communities of Practice - CoP analytical framework - within a systemic intervention approach. In doing so, the paper aims to enrich the systemic intervention perspective considering the CoP perspective about participants’ identities and the constitutive elements of social learning. The CoP view of identity is that formed by the negotiation of experience, community membership, learning trajectory, the nexus of multimembership, the process of participation between and within communities, and the acknowledgement that non-participation can take many forms and these forms also define identity. Hence, the CoP analytical framework is proposed to help with the boundary and issue reflections regarding agent identities. This could be seen as a synergy for systemic interventions. To describe this synergy first, the paper presents the bases of the systemic intervention framework and previous proposals about managing identity issues. Then, it presents the conceptual framework of CoP. Finally, there is an explanation of how to work with this framework, and some reflections about this proposal.



How to Cite

Barros, R., Midgley, G., & Pinzón, L. (2013). SYSTEMIC INTERVENTION WITH COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE (COP): A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK. Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2012, San Jose, CA, USA. Retrieved from



Critical Systems Theory and Practice