On the desirability of integrating research methods into overall systems approaches in the training of engineers: Analysis using SSM

Mike Yearworth, Gordon Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
251 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The development of systems practitioners in engineering has revealed the need to bridge between the research methods teaching of engineering management and soft systems approaches. Whilst action research might be viewed implicitly as the research strategy of systems practice we argue that engineering management research methods, in the broadest sense, require practical linking with soft systems approaches in order to meet the needs of research projects that span the boundary between engineering and the social world. Our observations arise from the experience of delivery of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Systems Programme. We explore this need for bridging using Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as a reflective device. We argue from our analysis that systems education for engineers needs to focus on ten key aspects that will be instrumental in bringing about the wider use of soft systems approaches to engineering systems. We present these conclusions using a process-oriented view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-66
Number of pages20
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Soft Systems
  • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Research Methods
  • Systems Engineering
  • Action Research
  • Engineering Education

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