Supporting Strategy using System Dynamics

ISI: Supporting Strategy using System Dynamics


2017 - Forthcoming - European Journal of Operational Research


This paper presents a protocol for supporting strategy development via system dynamics (SD) modeling in consultation with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of small organizations; it also reports on the effectiveness of this protocol one year after an initial study was conducted. The protocol was applied in five small organizations; it involves the development of a SD model that is used to generate scenarios of alternative strategic situations an organization may face. We found that when the CEOs identified more feedback loops and causal relationships among key resources through their modeling analyses, they increased their capacities to generate new strategic ideas through more developed mental models. However, those CEOs who were not able to generate alternative strategic ideas to overcome the challenges of scenarios presented during the simulation sessions found it difficult to make strategic decisions when the scenarios occurred one year after our intervention. This finding suggests that SD modeling can affect firm performance when the facilitation process helps CEOs reflect on potential strategic actions that can be taken in the future. When CEOs cannot change their strategic plans by imagining what should be done in a challenging scenario, they are not able to address challenging situations when they arise.


Strategic Planning, Decision Processes, System Dynamics Modeling

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