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Can we have confidence in generic structures?

Lane, D. ORCID: (1998) Can we have confidence in generic structures? Journal of the Operational Research Society, 49 (9). pp. 936-947. ISSN 0160-5682

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jors.2600605


The system dynamics concept of `generic structure' is dividable into three sub-types. This paper analyses the validity of these three, using both practical and theoretical perspectives. Firstly, a new set of measures is developed for generating validity-`confidence'-amongst a group using generic structures in a practical modelling situation. It is concluded that different confidence criteria are implicitly employed; there is an argument for trading-off model precision and analytical quality for simplicity and ease of use and future research is needed to combine these `process' and `content' aspects of confidence. From a theoretical stance it is shown that with two of the sub-types a scientific notion of confidence is achievable whereas the third (`archetypes') involves merely metaphorical thinking. It is concluded that the theoretical status of archetypes requires further development, whilst ensuring that its benefits are retained.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:37962
Uncontrolled Keywords:system dynamics, simulation, validation, philosophy of OR, systems
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan

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