User-parameterised generic models: a solution to the conundrum of modelling access for SMEs?
Article first published online: 25 SEP 2002
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
System Dynamics Review
Special Issue: Systems Thinking and System Dynamics in Small-Medium Enterprises
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 339–357, Autumn (Fall) 2002
How to Cite
Winch, G. W. and Arthur, D. J. W. (2002), User-parameterised generic models: a solution to the conundrum of modelling access for SMEs?. Syst. Dyn. Rev., 18: 339–357. doi: 10.1002/sdr.252
- Issue published online: 25 SEP 2002
- Article first published online: 25 SEP 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: JUN 2002
- Manuscript Received: SEP 2001
- UK Economic and Social Research Council Innovation research programme. Grant Number: L125251030
System dynamics (SD) has been shown to be a powerful strategic analysis approach, but it can also be a costly one. If there is an insistence that to have any validity and value, all models have to be constructed largely from scratch, then the time, expertise and costs involved appear, effectively, to preclude their widespread use in small–medium enterprise (SME) applications. This article describes “proof-of-concept” trials with a simulator based on a user-parameterised generic model that could offer affordable and manageable access to SD modelling for SMEs. While not pretending to provide quantitative predictions, the simulator does provide managers with a vehicle to challenge the validity of their mental models as their firm undergoes major change, to gain insights into the future challenges, and maybe enhance their confidence through “pre-experiencing” future scenarios. The trials concluded that user-parameterised generic models do have potential value in this kind of usage, and may therefore be the only viable option for many smaller firms to benefit from system dynamics modelling and scenario planning. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.