Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 365–381 | Cite as

From East to West- Has the Twain Met? Linkages Between Context Sensitivity and Soft Systems Methodology

  • Madhu Ranjan Kumar
  • Shankar Sankaran
Original Paper


This paper links context sensitivity of Indians to mode 2 of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) bringing out the similarities between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft and the primary mode and secondary mode of behaviour of context sensitivity respectively. Both SSM and context sensitivity consider the totality of environment before selecting the most appropriate behaviour. In the Indian context, the three dimensions of context sensitivity—person (patra), time (kal) and ecology (the pattern of relationships people have with their social and physical surrounding) (desh) are the three coordinates along which SSM’s standard of facts and values change. The unbundling of the changing standard of SSM along the three dimensions of person, time and ecology and across the two polarities of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft provides a model which is used to explain the recent economic rise of India.


Context sensitivity Adaptability Appreciative system Soft systems methodology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science&#x002B;Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian RailwaysBanarasIndia
  2. 2.University of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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