Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 63, Issue 9, pp 1307–1322 | Cite as

Operational research and critical systems thinking—an integrated perspective

Part 2: OR as argumentative practice
General Paper

Abstract

On the basis of a review of the role of systems thinking in the history of OR, Part 1 of this essay proposed a systematic understanding of OR as applied systems thinking. Further, it identified the contribution of ‘critical’ systems thinking (CST) in a combined ability of its two strands, critical systems heuristics (CSH) and total systems intervention (TSI), to enhance the conceptual sophistication of OR. Part 2 aims to translate this understanding into a framework for good professional practice. How exactly can CST strengthen the competence profile of OR professionals? Drawing on three experience-based archetypes of professional service and some basic argumentation-theoretical considerations, a new understanding of OR and applied systems thinking as argumentative practice emerges. In this new understanding CST finds a systematic place and some exemplary uses of CSH and TSI can be located—an integrated perspective.

Keywords

practice of OR philosophy of OR methodology professional OR education systems 

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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.The Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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