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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Linking event thinking with structural thinking: Methods to improve client value in projects

Howick, S.M. and Ackermann, F. and Andersen, D.F. (2006) Linking event thinking with structural thinking: Methods to improve client value in projects. System Dynamics Review, 22 (2). pp. 113-140.

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Abstract

Using a participant-observer research design, a team of modelers designed and implemented modeling guidelines to link semantically rich scenario maps to a formal causal influence diagram of a running simulation model. This process serves to link event thinking to structural thinking. These guidelines were used in a case, which involved: (1) developing a cause model of scenarios of the promotion of renewable energy sources in the U.K. electric power market from material elicited from a client group; (2) creating a system dynamics model of the same area; and (3) an integration of products 1 and 2 which enabled an analysis of the scenarios using the simulation model. The first two products used standard approaches and are not new; however, the third represents the key output of the research. By linking products 1 and 2, the research aimed to create better client value in the project by combining, in a systematic way, the relevant elements of scenario maps and system dynamics models. The process allows client groups to visualize and comprehend the linkage between event thinking and structural thinking in a complex system. This work informs ongoing research in group model building, strategy modeling (especially using scenarios) and the ongoing debate about qualitative versus quantitative system dynamics.