Basic principles of SSM modelling: an examination of CATWOE from a soft perspective

Basden, A, Bergvall-Kåreborn, B and Mirijamdotter, A 2004, 'Basic principles of SSM modelling: an examination of CATWOE from a soft perspective' , Systemic Practice and Action Research, 17 (2) , pp. 55-73.

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This paper examines the SSM technique CATWOE, which focuses on defining necessary elements that together constitute a human activity system from a certain perspective. Despite its recognition within the literature and its numerous uses, there are few studies on how the technique can be improved. This research reflects on each of the elements both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. Findings point to the fact that some of the terms have a meaning in everyday language that differs from its definition within CATWOE. Other concepts are not well-defined. This is unfortunate and may both lead to misunderstandings and limit analysis. The paper points to a number of ways in which the use of CATWOE can be developed in order to further support the process of eliciting novel ideas for future actions. Hence, the overall conclusion is that the elements need to be rethought and some of them renamed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The original publication is available at
Themes: Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Systemic Practice and Action Research
Publisher: Springer
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1094429X
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008 12:36
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 07:52

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