When systems thinking is not a natural act

Ricardo Valerdi, William B. Rouse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers - in fact, most technical people will self-identify as systems thinkers. But systems thinking competencies are not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This paper provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems. We discuss the implications of this philosophy and provide recommendations for closing the gap between the demand and supply of systems thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010
Pages184-189
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Systems Conference, SysCon 2010 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 5 2010Apr 8 2010

Publication series

Name2010 IEEE International Systems Conference Proceedings, SysCon 2010

Other

Other4th International Systems Conference, SysCon 2010
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period4/5/104/8/10

Keywords

  • Systems engineering competencies
  • Systems thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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