Systems practice

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 237–249 | Cite as

Critical systems thinking: A challenge or dilemma in its practice?

  • Stephen L. Payne


Emerging descriptions of critical systems thinking (CST) have yet to provide much information on how consultants with such a philosophy should act as potential organizational change agents in actually gaining opportunities to introduce CST applications. Issues of professional activism and advocacy need to be explored in the recommended actions taken by such change agents to challenge the dominant ideology and aspects of a coercive political climate that exists in many organizations. Theory development and the creative potential of CST may be enhanced by its advocates studying related critical theory development in other management and social science subfields.

Key words

critical systems thinking critique change process initiation organizational change consulting dilemmas 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen L. Payne
    • 1
  1. 1.Lumpkin College of BusinessEastern Illinois UniversityCharleston

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