Resources available online

Members of the Systems group at the OU had a significant influence in piloting what is now the University-wide Open Research Online- making OU research publications freely available online. 

We have also had a long tradition of developing resources that may be used by others externally in pursuit of supporting the application of systems thinking in practice, particularly on OpenLearn.

 

Diagramming Tutorials

  1. Guide to diagrams  Simon Bell, Kevin Collins and Andy Lane
  2. Systems diagramming (T552): Sample some of the generic diagramming teaching used in Open University courses: spray, rich picture, systems map, influence, multiple cause, sign
  3. Systems diagramming for development: rich picture, spray, systems map, influence, multiple cause, cognitive mapping using the Working for Water Programme (WWP) case study. WWP actively addresses the impoverishment of black South Africans where 14 million South Africans currently have no or inadequate water supplies
    1. Diagramming for development 1 - Bounding realities: rich picture, spray diagram, systems map
    2. Diagramming for development 2 – Exploring interrelationships: influence, multiple cause, cognitive mapping.
  4. Systems explained: Diagramming… four short video clippings on business management diagramming

 

Short introductory material on Systems thinking

  1. Introducing Systems Thinking- 1 teaching and case studies
    1. T551: Systems thinking and practice
    2. T552: systems diagramming
    3. Camelford case study: systems thinking in action
    4. Docklands light railway: systems thinking in action
    5. Electrolux: systems thinking in action
    6. Hard questions soft answers
  2. Introducing Systems Thinking – 2  audio, video and modelling
    1. Management systems: Geoffrey Vickers, Evan Davis, and Russell Ackoff
    2. What is a system? Boundaries and Biases: Peter Checkland
    3. Make your own systems model – making your own multiple cause diagram

 

Sample course material from Postgraduate modules on Systems Thinking in Practice

  1. Sample course resources from core STiP module TU811 Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change
    1. Introduction chapter to TU811 core Reader:  Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue (2010). Introducing systems approaches. In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide. London: Springer, pp. 1–23.
    2. Final chapter to TU811 core Reader:  Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue (2010). Epilogue: systems approaches and systems practice. In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide. London: Springer, pp. 293–306.
  2. Sample course resources from core STiP module TU812 Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction
    1. Introduction chapter to TU812 first core Reader:  Blackmore, Chris ed. (2010). Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice. Springer.
    2. Sample chapter from TU812 first core Reader:  Blackmore, Chris (2010). Managing systemic change: future roles for social learning systems and communities of practice? In: Blackmore, Chris ed. Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice. Springer, pp. 201–218.
    3. Sample chapter from TU812 first core Reader:  Ison, Ray (2010). Traditions of understanding: language, dialogue and experience. In: Blackmore, Chris ed. Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice. Springer, pp. 73–88.
    4. Introduction chapter to TU812 second core Reader:  Ison, Raymond (2010). Systems Practice: How to Act in a Climate-Change World. Springer.
  3. Introduction and sample chapter from third supplement Reader: Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen (2009). Systems Thinkers. London: Open University/Springer-Verlag.

 

YouTube videos

Systems Thinking in Practice: playlist of 3 YouTube clips on STiP produced in 2004 

 

Sir Geoffrey Vickers Archive catalogue now online!

Sir (Charles) Geoffrey Vickers. Geoffrey Vickers (1894-1982) had a varied life as a lawyer, soldier, economic intelligence officer and legal advisor. In the later years of his life he became a prolific writer and speaker on the subject of social systems analysis and the complex patterns of social organisation.

A new online catalogue of the Geoffrey Vickers papers is now available from the OU Archive web pages.

The catalogue is also available from the Archives Hub website.  The Archives Hub is a national gateway to descriptions of archives within UK universities and colleges.  As part of the Hub, the Vickers catalogue is now cross-searchable with hundreds of other collections.

For further information or to arrange a visit to consult the Geoffrey Vickers collection, contact  The University Archivist, at or on +44 (0) 1908 653378.

 

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Applied Systems Thinking in Practice