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Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World with CD-ROM HAR/CDR Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This text is a summary of the wisdom and knowledge gathered over more than twenty years of research dedicated to the study of practical methods for systems thinking and the dynamic modeling of complex systems. It is well written, easy to understand, and worthy of serious consideration.
I believe the text is destined to become a classic. It is written in a straightforward style and does not require prerequisite knowledge of higher mathematics. Indeed, in the author's words, "one of the strengths of the text is the way it presents system dynamics with a minimum of mathematical formalism. The goal is to develop the reader's intuition and conceptual understanding, without sacrificing the rigor of the scientific method." This goal is achieved well.
The text opens with a succinct and well organized description of approaches to the study of complex systems. It develops a set of principles for successful use of systems dynamics and provides well-written overviews of the Modeling Process and dynamic systems.
It covers the construction of causal loop diagrams and describes their application in a variety of business and engineering examples.
This is one of the best texts in its field for upper division undergraduate courses and graduate programs. It will be useful to many in business, engineering, and science.
Without needing to run through the software enclosed in the book, one can easily perceive the dependant causation of a specific problem by following the simple rules expained early on in the book for drawing reinforcing and balancing conditions that drive the causes leading to a specific problem being addressed.
By focusing on the software (which is enclosed on the CD ROM) to develop a problem solving approach, one has to work hard to create a balanced problem and this is not easily done by merely reading the book. I am considering further training in this aspect to master the topic by taking some more ExecEd courses that John Sterman teaches at MIT Sloan along with Jay Forrester and Peter Senge or even taking the eight week remote learning course offered toward credit at the System Dynamics program at Sloan.
I deal with complex IT architectures in my work on a daily basis involving financial, technical and business driven dependencies for Fortune 1000 firms. I use causal looping as taught by John and others at MIT Sloan to understand the path to cut through the complexity and reach an action plan that I can recommend to my clients.
The book has helped me tremendously in my work in the last few months that I have been reading it on airplane trips between my office and customer offices. For a busy consultant, this is a tremendously useful way to spend flight time.Read more ›
An outstanding book.
Though this book with 900 odd pages is large, it could have been useful if it had at least one serious case study which flowed through all the chapters and linked all the concepts. This would have helped potential practioners. In its current form the book contains many examples to explain the concepts, but none detailed enough. Many a times the author mentions that the actual models were complex, and a simplified version is being shown in the book. This however does not help the reader to understand and appreciate the complexities involved. It is probably because the concerned organizations were not willing to reveal "too much" lest they loose their IP.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is great for an intro to system dynamics. It encourages a new way of thinking logically and systematically. Read morePublished 3 months ago by John MacLaughlin
Book is looking somewhat long in the tooth. Much early material is still relevant, but could stand a refreshing update. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert Scheurer
Love it. Quality of the glue not so good. perhaps cuz it is heavyPublished 10 months ago by Juan Carlos Padilla Garcia
Great book to learn about system dynamics and modeling.
Easy to follow and slowly builds the concepts.
Also uses some interesting examples.
From all the books and papers I have read related to Business Dynamics, that books is definitely the one that should be read first. Read morePublished on January 28, 2012 by Stergios Taris
As an economist moving into business, I found this book very clear and interesting. I haven't had more than a glance at the CD-ROM so I cannot comment much on it. Read morePublished on August 12, 2011 by FB