Soft Systems Thinking, Intellectual Capital & Social Capital

3333 Words14 Pages
Soft System Methodology (SSM) was developed as methodology by Peter Checkland and his colleagues working at Lancaster University and Open University in the 1970s. The idea of the SSM is to understand, identify and solve the real world problems.

This paper will start with the history of SSM and its definition. Then it describes the SSM methodology with a practical case study from the real world. The author will look into the main features and benefits SSM. Afterwards the author will present the relationship between the soft systems thinking, knowledge management, intellectual capital and social capital.

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is now taught and used around the world. "SSM as an approach to tackling the multi-faceted problems which
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to specify goals, operators and evaluation functions etc. The methods which have come, collectively, to be known as PSMs were developed independently from the mid 1960s onwards. What each PSM offers is a way of representing the situation (that is, a model or models) that will enable participants to clarify their dilemma, converge on a potentially actionable mutual problem or issue within it, and agree commitments that will at least partially resolve it. There are many types of PSMs and the more standard forms of the principal methods may be briefly summarized as follows:

-Strategic options development and analysis (SODA): This is a general problem identification method that uses cognitive mapping as a modelling device for eliciting and recording individuals' views of a problem situation.

-Soft systems methodology (SSM): This is a general method fro system redesign. Participants build ideal-type conceptual models (CMs), one for each relevant world view.

-Strategic choice approach (SCA): This is a planning approach centred on managing uncertainty in strategic situations.

-Robustness analysis: This is an approach that focuses on maintaining useful flexibility under uncertainty.

-Drama theory: This draws on the two approaches, metagames and hypergames. It is an interactive method of analysing co-operation and conflict among multiple actors.

Sometimes not just one approach is used but several. When developing an IT strategy for a
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