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Q: system thinking ( creative problem solving) ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: system thinking ( creative problem solving)
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: sony7040-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 11 May 2003 07:41 PDT
Expires: 10 Jun 2003 07:41 PDT
Question ID: 202336
any case study showing or use total systems intervention TSI to
diagnose problems an suggest improvements in a complex problem
situation. that case study should show bassis of TSI analysis and
should conskder the employment of at least two systems mtehodologies.
includeing critical consideration of strengths and weaknesses of TSI

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 May 2003 08:18 PDT
Hello Sony7040,

I believe I can help you with this question, as I have access to a
number of case studies on TSI.  However, it would help if you could
clarify what it is you need.  Are you looking for citations to
appropriate studies in print journals?  Links to studies that are
online?  Or is there some other type of answer that you are looking

Any additional information you could provide would help researchers in
focusing their answer to best meet your needs.

Clarification of Question by sony7040-ga on 11 May 2003 14:19 PDT
i am looking for a case study or an writen essay which give me
information about TCI of a real problem and how it solvied by useing
at least two systems methodologies (vsm or sast).
Subject: Re: system thinking ( creative problem solving)
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 11 May 2003 15:19 PDT
Hello Sony7040, and thank you for a challenging question.  

I've included below a number of case studies that I think will meet
your needs -- the case studies are available on-line, and I've
included brief excerpts or comments on their content.  In addition,
there are a number of references for documents in print that you might
like to get a hold of.

If, for any reason, these documents do not meet your needs, just let
me know through a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to
assist you further with this.

Good luck in your research project.  



Case Study : Applying Techniques and Methods of Total Systems

[the study uses several problem solving techniques, including TSI, in
a comparative fashion.]

By A.R.Sabana 

This study demonstrates how a business person can use TSI, a systems
approach, to understand the problems of an organization and to
overcome them by choosing relevant methods to tackle them.

The study focuses on Thornton Printing Company which has some problems
which needs to be solved. Those problems will be analyzed, broken down
and tackled by using TSI.

---------- exemp/bokCamillaLars.pdf

Total Systems Competence: A TSI-based Method
for Competence Development

In this paper a TSI-based method for competence development is
presented. The method is called TSC – Total Systems Competence
and is intended mainly for small and medium sized enterprises
(SME´s) in the manufacturing industry. The paper is based empirically
in a case study conducted at an SME in the manufacturing industry in
Sweden. All employees were interviewed and the material served as
the starting point in the design of the TSC-method. The method was
tested using the empirical data gathered in the case study, and then
compared to Argyris (1993) approach for organisational development.
The main contribution of this research was in the ´Creativity Phase´
and it is the phase that contains most changes compared to TSI. Five
features were identified as the characteristics of TSC.


[synopsis of a case study]
The Development of a Bifurcated Strategic Management Approach for Non
Profit Organisations

This paper reports on a case study of the development of a systems
based approach to the strategic analysis of non-profit organisations.
The supporting theory was developed from a study of general systems
theory, human values theory, organisation theory, strategic management
concepts and decision science...The study methodology utilises an
approach based on Total Systems Intervention... [and] the techniques
of Critical Systems Thinking.


Assessing the Applicability of Integrated Communications: a Systemic

This study tackles the problem of how communication functions can be
integrated and made more effective in organizations through Total
Quality Management (TQM), systems thinking and pluralist approaches.
Particularly, the revised integrated communications model that has the
capability to review, operationalize and evaluate the integrated
communications approach in a systemic view will also be
presented...Some approaches to pluralism in systems thinking could be
used to improve IC programs such as Total Systems Intervention (TSI),
a system of evaluation methodologies, triple loop learning, and
critical appreciation.


[case study of a freight transport system; brief mention of TSI, in
comparision to other approaches]

There are many examples of the 'engineer' level, for instance:

Operational research 

Systems Dynamics (among them the models of Forrester and of Meadows).

There are other examples in this category: technical, economic and
environmental simulations and also multidimensional hybrid
Organisation models  

Viable System Methodology.  This is an approach we would like to use
because, as explained hereafter, of its very interesting treatment of
the freight transport problematic.

Total Systems Intervention . 


Pedagogical Strategies -- The Teaching of OR/MS: Framing as a

[brief comparison of TSI to other methods]

Flood and Jackson's three phase Total Systems Intervention methodology
provides an another example of an attempt to facilitate creative
thinking about a problem situation, and about problem structuring,
through the use of metaphors; and through the identification and
recognition of dominant and dependent metaphors to determine an
appropriate intervention methodology or methodologies.


[although from a user group, rather than an academic paper, there's an
interesting discussion here about the use of TSI in case study work]

And finally a quick response to David's comment that 'the treatment 
of System Dynamics ... is laughably ill-informed. ... Nothing here 
about models as transitional objects, nothing about experiential 
learning, representation of values and goals within models ...'.  
First, our presentation of System Dynamics in the original book 
(R.L. Flood and M.C. Jackson, Creative Problem Solving: Total Systems
Intervention, Wiley, Chichester, 1991) was not supposed to be a 
full and comprehensive account of System Dynamics possible uses.  
It was one of a selection of methods discussed in the context of 
model/methodology choice, where the aim was to show a diverse range 
of methods can be employed to tackle different problems according to 
different purposes.


Making the concept of information operational 

Guided by the thoughts of design and a working process similar to the
Local Systemic Intervention, (LSI), formerly known as the Total
Systems Intervention (TSI), described in Flood [Flood, Flood & Romm],
we set out to construct a model of information. We only used the modes
and phases of LSI. The idea of Critical Systems Thinking [Jackson,
Flood & Romm] in LSI was rejected due to the fact that ?emancipation?
in organizations is not applicable in our case. We needed a metaphor
for the recursive and iterative method we planned to use, which, in
our mind, LSI fulfils.


[brief comparatison of TSI and other methods]

Electronic Commerce to Support Construction Design and Supply
Chain Management


Engineering a paradigm shift

In turn, the highest level embraces the three lower levels which could
include frameworks such as Flood and Jackson's (1991) and Flood's
(1995) versions of total systems intervention (TSI).


Other References (not online) that may be worth pursuing:
mentions this text:

Hutchinson, W., Metcalf, S., Standing, C., and Williams, M., eds. 
(1995) Systems for the future, version 2, including late papers. 
Perth, Western Australia: Edith Cowan University.
Section 2 on systems methodologies and section 5 on applications of
systems methodologies contain some useful papers.  There is a keynote
address by Bob Flood on his Total Systems Intervention.

Tsoukas Haridimos
"The road to emancipation is through organisational development: A
critical assessment of Total Systems Intervention" , Systems Practice,
6:53-70, 1993

Rwelamila, P.D. and Hall, K.A., (1995) Total Systems Intervention: an
integrated approach to time, cost and quality management. Construction
Management and Economics Journal, Vol. 13, UK.

Brocklesby, John. “Let the Jury Decide - Assessing the Cultural
Feasibility of Total Systems Intervention" Systems Practice (February
1994) 7:1, 75-86.

Request for Answer Clarification by sony7040-ga on 12 May 2003 02:53 PDT
thanks , but i need some more , only the frist web sit was compatible
so i need one omer plz

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 12 May 2003 06:34 PDT
Hello again.  I've listed some additional case-studies below, and I
hope these will be on-target for your needs.  If you have access to a
library, they should be able to get you copies of the full documents. 
If these are not what you need, please let me know what it is that
makes a study useful to you or not...with some additional information,
I may be able to uncover some more targeted case studies that better
suit your purposes.



Structured Total systems Intervention systemic multi-MEthodology of
VIable systems and metasystems (STIMEVIS)

Assimakopoulos, Nikitas A 
Human Systems Management , v19n1 , Page: 61-69 , 2000 

The Viable System Model (VSM) of Beer is presented by examining its
effectiveness in practice using a different and structured design. In
order to support better viable systems, the Problem Structuring
Methodology (PSM) in strategic and procedure level. The conceptual
environment of VSM within PSM will be presented as a systemic
multi-methodology called STIMEVIS using the principles of Total
Systems Intervention methodology. In the new viable and operational
system, organizational structures in strategic and procedure level
where control and meta-control systems are used for decision and
meta-decision making are analyzed. For this methodology, a real
application for an Internet Service Providers is presented.


Total systems intervention: An integrated approach to time, cost and
quality management

Rwelamila, P D Hall, K A 
Construction Management & Economics , v13n3 , Page: 235-241 , May 1995
Historically there has been an attempt within the construction
industry to manage projects by attempting to find the most efficient
way of managing time and cost with little recognition of the
importance of the aspect of quality. Traditional scientific methods
have been utilized in order to determine the optimum method of
managing time, cost, and quality. These mechanistic models have
promoted concepts that lack the aspects of variability and culture
associated with the human dimension of the management function. This
has resulted in a heuristic, trial-and-error approach to the
management of projects and the suggestion, both directly and
indirectly by participants to the construction industry, that the
construction industry is characterized by the endemic crisis. The
balance between these 3 factors in conjunction with a consideration of
the social/behavioral aspects, and therefore the endorsement of total
time, quality, cost management system can be achieved via the
utilization of an approach to problem-solving, namely, total systems


Turning a system loose with empowerment: reflections on an
intervention in South Africa

Sullivan, Kristine 
Empowerment in Organizations , v6n2 , Page: 51 , 1998 

When empowerment is at its most effective the result would be workers
acting on their own, with clear direction and within clear parameters
set by leaders. A total-systems intervention in South Africa that
involved 2,000 people in four weeks is examined. These were not
training sessions. Rather, they were sessions in which participants
identified and seized empowerment opportunities. The Amalgamated Bank
of South Africa (ABSA Group) has 38,000 employees. The bank consists
of four commercial retail banks: Trust Bank, United, Volkskis and
Allied. This intervention was with United Bank Gueteng (Gueteng is a
province). The intervention began with the traditional
organizational-development process: gathering data from the United
Gueteng Executive Team (ET) members about the issues that they faced,
preparing a data document with their collective input, and then
designing a team-building retreat for the ET. The retreat prepared the
top team for the wave of empowerment it would soon feel from the main
body of the organization following the whole-system event that was
soon to come.


Total Systems Intervention (TSI): A reconstitution 

Flood, Robert L 
Journal of the Operational Research Society , v46n2 , Page: 174-191 ,
Feb 1995

Total Systems Intervention (TSI) is a very new approach to problem
solving, but it has enjoyed a more extensive use than expected at this
stage. Early accounts of it have now been explored in some depth in
practice and through theoretical discussion. There have been many new
insights generated. Conditions are now propitious for a thorough
reworking of TSI as a practical tool, to bring it right up-to-date. A
very brief review of the uses of TSI, theoretical and practical
reflections, plus an extensive overview of the TSI method as it is
employed today are presented. TSI's philosophy, principles and process
are described and explained. Some ideas for further development are


Request for Answer Clarification by sony7040-ga on 13 May 2003 02:23 PDT
hi, pafalafa-go
thanks again
i will give some moer information by this example,
an orgnistion have two types of problems 1- structur 2-communcation
this orgnistion need to solve the problems by usenig TSI any by one of
different mothdologyies such as using (VSM or SAST) which all aoming
under TSI

what i want is how can i solve this type of proble by useing TSI ,that
why i am asking for a case studies to show me the steps to solve the
problem by uesing TSI and one of TSI mothed.

i hope it is clear now.

many thanks

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 13 May 2003 06:46 PDT
Hello again,

I hope we're getting closer to what you need.  I've added two more
links, below, that seem to be highly relevant.  If these do NOT meet
your needs, please do two things to help be better target my research:

1.  Let me know in more detail what is needed, and why the links I
have posted are not doing the job

2.  Let me know if you only want on-line sources, or if references to
print documents (journals, books, etc) would meet your needs.  This is
important, for there are many sources of information on TSI case
studies that are not posted on line.

Good luck in your project.

The Science of Systemic Analysis
Family of Management Systems Literature
4.3.9 Total Systems Intervention
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