Collaborative Systems Thinking: Towards an Understanding of Team-level Systems Thinking
Author(s)Twomey Lamb, Caroline; Nightingale, Deborah J.; Rhodes, Donna H.
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As the engineering workforce ages, skills with long development periods are lost with retiring individuals faster than are younger engineers developing the skills. Systems thinking is one such skill. Recent research, (Davidz 2006), has shown the importance of experiential learning in systems thinking skill development. However, an engineering career begun today has fewer program experiences than in past decades because of extended program lifecycles and a reduction in the number of new large-scale engineering programs. This pattern is clearly visible in the aerospace industry, which (Stephens 2003) cites as already experiencing a systems thinking shortage. The ongoing research outlined in this paper explores systems thinking as an emergent property of teams. Collaborative systems thinking, a term coined by the authors to denote teamlevel systems thinking, may offer an opportunity to leverage and develop a skill in short supply by concentrating on the team in addition to the individual. This paper introduces the proposed definition for collaborative systems thinking, as developed by the authors, and the outlines the structure and progress of ongoing case research into the role of organizational culture and standard process usage in the development of collaborative systems thinking.
collaborative systems thinking (CST), systems thinking
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