Decision Making via Systems Thinking in Management: Educational Issues

M. Kudret Yurtseven, Walter W. Buchanan


The aim of this paper is to provide a critical view of the educational issues related to teaching decision making in management studies and to provide a general framework is proposed that will serve as a basis designing new courses, covering some methodologies for handling complexity in decision making. At present, the widely spread approach to teaching the subject matter is mostly restricted to the traditional OR/MS (Operations Research/Management Science) paradigm. This paradigm is based on a set of mathematical tools and suitable for solving well defined decision making problems; it fails in “messy” or complex situations. Systems-based approaches are more promising in complex situations since they provide the decision maker(s) the opportunity to address the problematic situation in its full system context. The framework proposed in the study attempts to complement the traditional OR/MS paradigm rather than replacing it.


Systems Thinking; Decision Making; Management; Education

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