Decision-making in complex systems: Relationship between scale of change and performance

Maani, Kambiz and Li, Anson (2010) Decision-making in complex systems: Relationship between scale of change and performance. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 27 5: 567-584. doi:10.1002/sres.1053

Author Maani, Kambiz
Li, Anson
Title Decision-making in complex systems: Relationship between scale of change and performance
Journal name Systems Research and Behavioral Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1092-7026
Publication date 2010-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/sres.1053
Volume 27
Issue 5
Start page 567
End page 584
Total pages 18
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex., United Kingdom.
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Empirical research as well as numerous cases studying managers across diverse disciplines, cultures, and industries reveal consistent patterns of counter-productive decision-making. In this regard, decision-makers appear to exhibit an unmistakable tendency to ‘over-intervene’ in the systems (companies, organizations, cities, communities, etc.) they are responsible for. This suggests an inadequate appreciation and understanding of the dynamics underlying decision-making, generating unwarranted and excessive fluctuations and instability in organizations. Numerous studies have observed such phenomena in simulated and experimental settings. Research results, as well as in-depth case studies highlight a number of assumptions and mental models commonly held by decision-makers and managers with adverse effect on organizational dynamics and performance. This paper reports on extensive empirical research and findings elicited from subjects interacting with realistic simulation models of organizations (microworlds) to investigate the relationship between scale of intervention and performance. The results show that while large-scale interventions appear to be effective in the start-up phase of systems (e.g. new products, markets, companies) they are generally counter-productive in mature systems operating at steady state. The results support findings from organizational case studies, notably, the extensive study of ‘Good to Great’ firms. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keyword Decision-making
Systems thinking
Organizational change
Managerial behaviour
Mental models
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Issue September/October 2010 Special Issue: Livable Sustainable Systems

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 24 Oct 2010, 00:01:33 EST