Making Sustainable Strategy in Complex Management Environments: Proposition for a Systemic and Practice-Oriented Methodology

UZH Business Working Paper No. 353

38 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2012 Last revised: 26 Jun 2015

See all articles by Mathias Beck

Mathias Beck

ETH Zurich

Andrea Schenker-Wicki

University of Basel

Lukas Klaus Schoenenberger

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore; University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: April 2015

Abstract

The increasing complexity of the modern world creates both higher risks and new interdependencies in the socioeconomic environment. To cope with these challenges powerful new tools must be applied to find sustainable solutions. System dynamics is a field that offers potential assistance in dealing with complex issues. However, managers and politicians often lack the knowledge and necessary skills to apply quantitative methods in their decision-making process. In contrast, qualitative approaches are easily understood and handled but have limited capacities for analysis. To address this gap, we have developed a bundle of tools tailored for managers and politicians facing complex problems. These tools enable executives to recognize effective levers and assess potential consequences of specific interventions in a highly interconnected system. The approach detailed here equips decision makers with a powerful method to develop, test, and communicate strategies to find long-term sustainable solutions for complex issues in business and society.

Keywords: causal loop diagram, semi-quantitative approach, adjacency matrix, feedback, mental model, strategic decision making

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Beck, Mathias and Schenker-Wicki, Andrea and Schoenenberger, Lukas Klaus, Making Sustainable Strategy in Complex Management Environments: Proposition for a Systemic and Practice-Oriented Methodology (April 2015). UZH Business Working Paper No. 353, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1951875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1951875

Mathias Beck

ETH Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 29 46 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://kof.ethz.ch

Andrea Schenker-Wicki

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Lukas Klaus Schoenenberger (Contact Author)

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore ( email )

8 College Road
Singapore, 169857
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://hssr.duke-nus.edu.sg/

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

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