Sunday, March 3, 2013

Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World with CD-ROM, John Sterman

The leading authority on system dynamics explains this approach to organizational problem solving, emphasizing simulation models to understand issues such as fluctuating sales, market growth and stagnation, the reliability of forecasts and the rationality of business decision-making. The CD includes modeling software from Vensim, ithink, and PowerSim.

The field of system dynamics was created in 1956 under the leadership of MIT Professor Jay W. Forrester to evaluate how alternative policies affect growth, stability, fluctuation, and changing behavior in corporations, cities, and countries. Forrester founded the System Dynamics Program in the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at MIT. John Sterman is currently Director of the System Dynamics Group at MIT.
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.

Product Details :
Hardcover: 1008 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin (February 23, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 007238915X
ISBN-13: 978-0072389159
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.6 x 10.3 inches

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