28th March, 2013.
Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modelling for a Complex World Introduction
The problems that arise today often do so as a result of the resolutions that were arrived at yesterday. Social systems today suffer from what is known as policy resistance. This is the tendency for interventions implemented with a good will to be defeated by the reactions or retaliatory responses of the system to the same intervention. As such, System Dynamics is a tool that is designed to help learn about the configurations or structures and dynamics that are associated with complex systems in which we are surrounded, design high control policies for continuous improvement, and fasten or increase successful applications and transformation (Sterman, 2000). These systems are built on the theoretical application of engineering control and the present paradigm of non-linear dynamical systems. Dynamics of a system entails the advancement of official and recognized models and managing flight simulators to represent complex dynamics, and to create a context for discovery, learning and design of policies (Sterman, 2000). Contrary to the problems linked to engineering, if any exists, the human systems portray characteristic challenges that include issues that cross boundaries of discipline, long time perspectives, the desire to design reliable human behaviour models, and the bigger complicatedness of experimental or practical testing. System Dynamics
System Dynamics are associated with the say, “And it will fall out as in a complication of diseases, that by applying a remedy to one sore, you will provoke another; and that which removes the one ill symptom produces others”, (More, 1516). This shows that policies that are designed in business to help solve a problem, may later after implementation lead to other problems, policy resistance (Sterman, 2000). As such, any individual in a business cannot just find a problem in one wing of the business, which is part of a whole complex system, and rush into implementing resolutions due to anxiety without causing problems in other wings of the same system. Thus, there is need to understand the whole system.
One possible solution to understanding the system to evade policy resistance is System Thinking (Sterman, 2000). This is the capability to see the world as a system that is complex, and understand how each and every component in it is interlinked or connected. It is supposed that if the world is given a holistic approach, it is possible to learn slightly faster, determine high control points, evade resistance of policies and make decisions that are pegged to long-term best desires and interests. However, the main challenges lie not with fastening the process of learning and systems thinking, but also the desire to invent useful implements that would help understand the level of complexity, design improved policies of operation, and finally guide successful change. Because human beings are also part of the complex system, the process takes into consideration the social, political, ecological and other related shocks or impacts that may be associated with it. Because the process of system design is embedded in understanding the behaviour of complex systems, it is based on the theory of non-linear dynamics and feedback control similar to that used in Mathematics, engineering and physics together with cognitive and social psychology, organization paradigm, economics and associated social sciences (Sterman, 2000). This is applicable to groups and organizations, plus the larger society because the system seeks to solve real world problems. It is therefore relevant to understand how policy resistance arises from the mismatch between the dynamic complexity in the systems that we create and the cognitive ability to comprehend that complexity.
Causes of Policy Resistance
A business if assumed to...