Systemic Analysis of TB Concept

Systemic Analysis of TB Concept

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6974-9.ch003


The previous chapter contains the introduction of main applied methods and approaches. This chapter provides the description of the soft system methodology and explanation of single steps needed to be applied in practice. This method is employed in a reduced PQR form. Root definitions and unstructured problem descriptions help to depict the concept of TB. Moreover, charts and diagrams enabling the provision of more accurate insight, and the identification of main inputs, entities, and processes of the system are developed. Finally, entities that belong to the wider system are delineated. In general, this chapter points out the lack of scientific background within the current research. A novel TB taxonomy as an appropriate starting point aiming at the solution of this issue is proposed. Due to the deconstruction of TB to the particular main elements and processes, the soft system methodology helps to uncover the real core of TB.
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At this point it is necessary to select a methodology which would allow us to tackle unstructured and vague questions such as “Is there an universal approach to TB?” or “How to ensure implementation of TB concept in various fields securing its benefits?” Peter Checkland’s Soft System Methodology (SSM) (Checkland, 1993) seems to be perfectly suitable for this. As is apparent from previous chapters, we will not “design” a system and we are past the stage of engineering, because TB already exists. The purpose of applying SSM is to search in various applications of the TB concept for common features and the main building elements, to identify and describe them, and to draw conclusions. Only then would the way be open for drafting a universal TB system. In other words, by using SSM we search for an answer to the question of what TB is (a unified definition) based on what we know in terms of what a system does in most situations.

Since one of main advantages of SSM is the possibility of generating a completely new point of view, i.e. not merely superficially tweaking already existing systems, it can be said that the TB concept is projected to bring about a systemic change. Nevertheless, with the anticipated power of TB as a tool to clearly define a specific systemic change, fundamental questions remain to be structured such as how to implement it correctly in various conditions and how to anticipate possible consequences. In other words, in combining this relatively new system of TB with SSM to prescribe and describe a change, we fully expect surprising positive and negative side effects, with managing these a natural and anticipated aspect of this holistic process (Valek, 2016).

The Soft System Methodology

The SSM of Peter Checkland is divided into seven main steps/stages. Stages 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 belong to the “real world,” with 1 and 2 extracting information from the problem situation and 5, 6, 7 comparing and drawing possible solutions for a change. Stages 3 and 4 belong to the “systems thinking layer” where root definitions are defined and transformed to conceptual models (Checkland, 1993).

Figure 1.

Structure of the Soft System Methodology

Source: (Checkland, 1993).

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