Understanding Systems Thinking: An Agenda for Applied Research in Industry
Keywords:systems thinking, systems methodology, cognitive styles, worldview, ethics
Why systems thinking is valuable is relatively easy to explain. However, in the authors’ work as university educators, teaching a student processes of enquiry that are themselves systemic is a difficult undertaking. The capacity to view the world in systemic ways seems an innate characteristic that some individuals possess. Might it be the case that being a systems thinker is dependent on holding a particular worldview? Systems theorists have evolved tools and methodologies to help people do systems thinking. Is being a user of systems methods the same as being a systems thinker? Are certain cognitive competencies, styles, or preferences required for people to make effective use of such tools and methodologies?