• Publisher : Ebury
  • Year : 2015
  • NO of Pages : 506
  • Author : John Morecroft
  • Contents :

    Chapter 1 The Appeal and Power of Strategic Modelling

    Chapter 2 Introduction to Feedback Systems Thinking 

    Chapter 3 Modelling Dynamic Systems 

    Chapter 4 World of Showers 

    Chapter5 Cyclical Dynamics and the Process of Model Building 

    Chapter 6 The Dynamics of Growth from Diffusion 

    Chapter 7 Managing Business Growth 

    Chapter 8 Industry Dynamics – Oil Price and the Global Oil Producers 

    Chapter 9 Public Sector Applications of Strategic Modelling 

    Chapter 10 Model Validity, Mental Models and Learning

  • Introduction / Abstract ISBN :

    Preface to the Second Edition

    In the second edition of Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics I have refreshed the book while building on its strengths. The original 2007 book was well received. So I retained the pre-existing ten-chapter architecture and within this architecture I made numerous chapter-by-chapter revisions. For example chapters 1 and 9, on the fishing industry and World Dynamics refer to new research and web-based simulators about sustainability and climate change. The background to the oil industry in Chapter 8 reports changes to industry structure and the advent of shale oil. The references at the end of each chapter have been carefully reviewed and updated to include selected journal articles and books that point the way to important ongoing developments in the field such as group model building and computationally intensive analytical methods.

    But there is more too. I want the book to be an enduring bridge from traditional to contemporary system dynamics, and so I have created two accompanying websites – the Learners’ website and the Instructors’ website. Traditional system dynamics involves a distinctive ‘style’ of modelling and analysis. It lays strong emphasis on clear visualisation and documentation of real-world feedback structure backed-up by rigorous yet easy-to-read equation formulations. Understanding of dynamics comes from careful narrative interpretation of simulations. I use these style guidelines for modelling and analysis throughout the book and I believe it is important for all students of system dynamics to master them. To reinforce the message I have provided,on the Learners’ website, selected articles from the working paper archives of the MIT System Dynamics Group.2 I hope readers will enjoy these historical glimpses of the field. On the Instructors’ website I have provided annotated and graded solutions to course assignments showing exemplary work by students who have followed the style guidelines. My thanks to Chris Baker,Zahir Balaporia, Bill Grace and John Kapson (graduates of WPI’s online programme in system dynamics) for agreeing to display their anonymised assignments for the benefit of other learners. It is worth noting that, when enrolled in the course, they each held responsible full-time posts in business or government.From this foundation of rigour-with-accessibility it is then possible for learners to reach ut securely to complementary methods and ideas, whatever form they might take. For example, the book already connects with contemporary behavioural and resource-based views of the firm, as described in the Preface from the 1st Edition of the book (see the next section). These ideas, from modern economics and strategy, fit neatly with asset stock accumulation and the information feedback view of the firm found in traditional system dynamics. In addition, and scattered throughout the book, there are references to contemporary analytical methods for dynamic models. And finally, for model conceptualisation, there is mention of tried-and-tested protocols for group model building.

     I have added two new electronic topics that can be found in learning support folders on the Learners’ website (see the About the Website Resources section). The topics are the ‘dynamics of diversification’ and ‘managing metamorphosis’. Diversification is an important part of corporate (multi-business) strategy and complements material in Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 10 on the dynamics of single-business firms and of entire industries.Metamorphosis is a process of managed adaptation to change in the business environment; change that is often ushered in by firms, industries and societies as they co-exist and innovate while competing for resources and markets. When the environment changes organisations must reliably sense the change. Then they must take timely action to re-configure their assets and operating policies in order to survive and contribute to the formation of a new and beneficial future environment. The material on metamorphosis is novel and somewhat experimental. It can be seen as a way to extend the range of strategic modelling to include surprise disruption to firms’ core business arising from technical and social innovations – and covert side-effects. The new electronic content includes video lectures from my online course at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). I am grateful to Khalid Saeed and Jim Doyle at WPI for enabling and supporting the use of this video content.

    All the simulators used in the book are now stored on the Learners’ website in chapter-by-chapter learning support folders. They are accompanied by an evergreen link to the latest iThink modelling software. My thanks to Karim Chichakly at isee systems for providing this link and for implementing, within the evolving software, special functionality on which my book relies – in particular sketchable time charts and the capability for users to conduct instructive ‘tours’ of initial simulator conditions (by hovering-over model icons to view the numerical values they hold).

    My thanks also to the editorial and book production team at Wiley for their friendly and professional support throughout the 2nd edition project. Jenny Ng worked diligently with me on design and content changes. She also expertly managed permissions and ensured everything was completed on time. Tessa Allen skilfully guided the book through it’s multi-stage production process while Caroline Quinnell sharpened numerous phrases during copy editing. My secretary Suzanne Shapiro has steadfastly and cheerfully supported my work at London Business School for more than 25 years. During this period Suzanne and I have been based in two different subject areas: Strategy & Entrepreneurship (1986–1996); and Management Science & Operations (1997–present). Thank you Suzanne! Finally, I thank my wife Linda who provides the motivation, love, stability and perspective of family life that lies behind all my work.

  • ISBN : 978-1-118-84468-7
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