Seeing Anew: Using John Dewey's Theory of Inquiry to Understand the Inquiry System of Soft Systems Methodology

Mark Winter
25 October 2019

This session will show how John Dewey's general theory of inquiry (1938) can be used to understand the inquiry system of Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) and will suggest some practical opportunities that might flow from this for systems thinking practitioners. It will also show how Dewey's theory of inquiry helps to clarify the essential difference between 'hard' and 'soft' systems thinking which is not yet commonly undertstood in the systems thinking community.

About Mark Winter

Dr Mark Winter is a Senior Lecturer at Alliance Manchester Business School and completed his PhD in 2002 with Peter Checkland. He is also the lead author of a book called Images of Projects, which was inspired by Gareth Morgan’s best-selling book Images of Organization, and in 2004-2006 he led a UK government-funded research project called Rethinking Project Management which published its findings and recommendations in the International Journal of Project Management.