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Reflection-in-Action: Modeling a specific organization through the Viable Systems Model

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to explore a way for systems practitioners to learn the skills necessary to employ a particular systems model in practice. Reflection-in-Action is one way to embark on a double-loop learning cycle and, thus, develop the tacit skills and inarticulate knowledge needed to employ a particular systems model. Through Reflection-in-Action, a Viable Systems Model (VSM) of the San Francisco Zoo was constructed. This project involved three phases of research; for each, a VSM using the data available was constructed. During each phase, the questioning of current assumptions and operating norms led to changes in the direction of the research. This led to the construction of significantly different VSMs for each phase.

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Dickover, N. Reflection-in-Action: Modeling a specific organization through the Viable Systems Model. Systems Practice 7, 43–62 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02169164

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Key words

  • Reflection-in-Action
  • tacit knowledge
  • Viable Systems Model