A multi-modal systems evaluation on soft systems methodology: an empirical
study [Anita Marijarndotter, ISSS 1998 Paper Session, July 21/98]
These notes are a rough transcription,
prepared as each individual presenter and/or commentator spoke at the ISSS
1998 conference. Gaps and errors have likely occurred. For more accurate
citations, please consult the original presenters. These notes have been
contributed to the ISSS by David Ing, of the IBM Advanced Business Institute
(firstname.lastname@example.org).[Paper session, July 21/98, 4:45 p.m.]
Anita Mirijarndotter: first Ph.D. graduate in systems science from Lulea,
Focused on Soft Systems Methodology
Research on finding out phase and modeling phases of SSM, (as well as the
taking action phase)
SSM has some weaknesses, which she has tried to mitigate with multi-modal
Comes from an artistic or architectural background, where you learn about
designs, rather than from engineering.
Limitations of SSM:
Look at the modalities and their interrelations, which impact SSM
Criticized for its relativistic stance.
Modeling techniques don't fit the multi-modal view, which prevents some
Richness of the real world in the finding out phase substantially goes
into the modeling phase.
Found ideas of efficiency, transformation were too mechanistic.
Used modality framework in finding out, modeling and action phases.
Multi-modal diagram as a fan: can remove one or two of the few, but the
fan doesn't function as well.
With each different aspects of reality, have an essence: e.g. aesthetics
Used in a municipality in inland Sweden -- sparsely populated, high
unemployment, rate of suicide high.
Finding out phase:
Arranged training for young people.
Initiated in 1994, still running because the conditions haven't changed:
still high unemployment.
Interviews, observations and interactions with people.
How do you know if you've got a rich picture of life?
Found 6 areas of main concern to young people.
Interest mainly in social and psychic areas.
Modeling, combining SSM and MST:
Most successful with MST and CATWOE.
Made systems clearer.
More aspects of humanity investigated.
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