Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 275–323 | Cite as

Soft System Dynamics Methodology in Action: A study of the Problem of Citizen Insecurity in an Argentinean Province

  • Ricardo A. Rodríguez-Ulloa
  • Alberto Montbrun
  • Silvio Martínez-Vicente
Original Paper


This paper illustrates an application of soft system dynamics methodology (SSDM). SSDM arose as a fusion of two well-known methodologies in the systems movement: system dynamics (SD) and soft systems methodology (SSM). SSDM includes 10 steps to orchestrate and implant change in social systems, based on a multimethodological and multiparadigmatic approach as an outcome of the combination of the mentioned methodologies. After a brief introduction, the paper starts by briefly explaining SSM and SD, their stages and their problematical issues as systemic methodologies, then goes on to explain SSDM, its philosophical roots and stages, ending with a comparison among the three. It then introduces the citizen insecurity problem in Argentina, specifically in Mendoza Province, where SSDM was applied to analyze this issue. The paper concludes with an explanation of the learning points that arose from the use of SSDM in this study and suggestions for further research on citizen security and SSDM.


Soft systems methodology System dynamics Soft system dynamics methodology Citizen security 



The authors wish to thank Honorable Provincial Council of the Province of Mendoza and City Council of the city of Godoy Cruz, Argentina, for their financial and logistical support during the research. We also thank all the stakeholders who participated in the discussion meetings that aided in applying SSDM and building the system dynamics models. Finally, our gratitude goes to the researchers from CEGESCO (Argentina), IAS (Peru) and CSIC (Spain) for their support in building and validating the system dynamics models, as well as to CENTRUM Católica Business School (Peru) for providing the facilities, academic and logistic support for writing this paper and we especially want to thank Prof. James Rudolph for his help in the proof reading of the manuscript, to Mr. Janek Kobylinski, Assistant in CENTRUM Future, for his support in the elaboration of many of the graphics in this paper and Prof. Jose Pereyra for his support in providing with the facilities and resources needed to write this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo A. Rodríguez-Ulloa
    • 1
  • Alberto Montbrun
    • 2
  • Silvio Martínez-Vicente
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.CENTRUM Católica Business SchoolPontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLima 33Peru
  2. 2.Centro para la Gestión de Sistemas Complejos (CEGESCO)MendozaArgentina
  3. 3.Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Instituto Andino de Sistemas (IAS)LimaPeru

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