Systems Thinking, Mapping, and Modeling in Group Decision and Negotiation

  • George P. RichardsonEmail author
  • David F. Andersen
Part of the Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation book series (AGDN, volume 4)


The use of systems modeling and simulation contributes an endogenous dynamic perspective to group negotiations and decision making. In the field of system dynamics, group (participatory) model building has a rich history and growing literature. This chapter provides an introduction. It discusses the roles required to handle the intricacies of facilitation and group modeling and identifies the tension inherent in models as “microworlds” or “boundary objects” (see the chapter by Ackermann and Eden, this volume). It overviews the group model building process and focuses most extensively on an accumulating body of scripts (see the chapter by Lewis, this volume) for group modeling, including scripts for introducing model concepts, initiating systems mapping, eliciting system feedback structure (see the chapter by Hujala and Kurttila, this volume), formulating formal models with client groups, and using them to help build a negotiated consensual view of their shared mental models (see the chapter by Ackermann and Eden, this volume). The keys to the success of group modeling building efforts appear to be engaging stakeholders, sharing mental models formally, assembling and managing complexity, using simulation to test scenarios and support or refute hypotheses, working toward alignment, and empowering people to have confidence in the strategies that emerge.


Boundary Object System Dynamic Modeling Welfare Reform Client Group Modeling Team 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and PolicyUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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