Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 435–453 | Cite as

A Comparison of Interactive Planning and Soft Systems Methodology: Enhancing the Complementarist Position

  • Jeffrey S. Sinn


Flood and Jackson (1991) explain the diversity of systems-based methods with a pluralistic “System of Systems Methodologies” by categorizing the various methods according to the problem context for which they are deemed to be best suited. The two methods classified as most appropriate for complex-pluralistic problems, Ackoff's Interactive Planning and Checkland's Soft System Methodology, are compared according to their underlying theory, problem-solving techniques, and outcomes. Despite their shared focus on the same problem context, the two methods are derived from different ontological assumptions which yield different techniques and outcomes. An argument is presented for conducting additional comparisons of methods that address the same problem context.

systems theory Interactive Planning Soft Systems Methodology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey S. Sinn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWinthrop UniversityRock HillSouth Carolina

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