Systems practice

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 587–603

Plurality revisited: Diversity management and triple loop learning

  • Robert L. Flood
  • Norma R. A. Romm

DOI: 10.1007/BF02169215

Cite this article as:
Flood, R.L. & Romm, N.R.A. Systems Practice (1996) 9: 587. doi:10.1007/BF02169215


This paper suggests one way of managing plurality of theories and methodologies and ways of operationalising them. It suggests that the management of options needs to be linked to a process of reflexive consciousness. Reflexive consciousness operates by recognising that choices of theoretical and methodological commitment have to be made for the purposes of action. Awareness of the provisional and partial nature of choices is key to the management of options. Choice-making is marked by an awareness of the way in which the facility for judgement has been exercised. This includes considering how judgements may be accounted for in the light of alternative choices. Informed awareness means taking into accounttheoretical debates that may be brought to bear in facilitating an appreciation of methodologies and possible operationalisations of them. It also means taking into account matters ofcontemporary concern (specialist or popular) raised in the process of social debate. Our argument is detailed through an explication of what we call diversity management and triple loop learning.

Key words

pluralism critical systems thinking diversity management triple loop learning 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Flood
    • 1
  • Norma R. A. Romm
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Systems StudiesUniversity of HullHullUK

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