Article Information

System Dynamics Modeling: Tools for Learning in a Complex World
Sterman, John D.
43/4  (Summer 2001): 8-25

Today’s problems often arise as unintended consequences of yesterday’s solutions. Business and public policy settings suffer from policy resistance, the tendency for well-intentioned interventions to be defeated by the response of the system to the intervention itself. Just as an airline uses flight simulators to help pilots learn, system dynamics enables us to create management flight simulators to avoid policy resistance and design more effective policies. System dynamics is also a process for working with high-level teams designed to improve the chances for implemented results. This article discusses how system dynamics can be used effectively to design high-leverage policies for sustainable improvement and introduces the next three articles in this issue discussing the application of system dynamics to a variety of critical issues facing business leaders today.

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