11.1 Part 3: 1 Introduction

I wonder if you experience complexity in your daily life? Perhaps you experienced the child-support case study as being complex, as I did? For much of the time I struggle to keep my head above water as I try to understand and manage the complexity I experience as part of everyday life. I find social commentator and cartoonist Michael Leunig's depiction of a solitary figure looking through an ‘understandascope’ (Author(s): The Open University

9.8 Diagramming a complex situation

Diagrams are never an end in themselves. They have a purpose. They exist in relation to a situation and can be used to cast light upon aspects of that situation or to explain it to someone.

So, the next step is to look at the diagrams you have drawn and to ask yourself what you have learned about the situation. This answer may be in terms of a deeper appreciation of the situation. It may also be in terms of pointers towards possible interventions and some idea of the likely effects of s
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8.1 Loose ends

Before moving into a discussion of the missing element of the rich picture, I want to direct your attention to all the thoughts and ideas I have encouraged you not to put into your rich picture. I imagine you might have collected quite a list of loose ends. The next activity will involve some of these.

Expect to take about half an hour to do the next activity.


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7.5 Summary

I hope that, by now, you have a rich picture you are pleased with. This is a considerable achievement because, despite the informality of the rich picture's style, a rich picture that effectively captures the complex situation takes a lot of effort to achieve. It depends crucially on being prepared to enter into the experience of the situation of interest and to interrogate that experience thoroughly. Noticing is not enough. Each feature of the situation has to be carefully captured by repres
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7.2.4 Trap 4: words and wordiness

I have seen some effective rich pictures with lots of words in them but they are quite rare in my experience. More often, lots of words make the rich picture less rich. Part of the later use of a rich picture might include looking for patterns. Words inhibit your ability to spot patterns.

If you do use speech bubbles, use what people say, not your interpretation, unless the bubble is about some general attitude. Examples might be ‘Aaagh!’, ‘Help!’, ‘Oops!’ – the sort of th
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3.1 What are you hoping to learn?

Anticipations and preconceptions are an important determinant of how people learn, so before you read on, I would like to you to record some of what you are experiencing now as you begin the course.

It's important to get these impressions noted down now, because new ideas and new impressions will quickly overlay the experience. What you are experiencing now will be re-interpreted as new understandings emerge. You are also likely to form some judgements about your expectations. So before
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2 Part 1 Starting the unit

Welcome to T306_2 Managing complexity: a systems approach – introduction. As I write, I experience a sense of excitement. For me, as for you, this is the beginning of the unit. These are the first few sentences I'm writing and so, although I have a good idea of how the unit is going to turn out, the details are by no means clear. Nevertheless, the excitement and anticipation I, and maybe you, are experiencing now is an important ingredient in what will become our experiences of the u
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18.2.3 Complexity

If an innovation is perceived as difficult to use it will diffuse more slowly than one that is easy to understand. For example users of early personal computers needed an understanding of a programming language in order to use their machines. For most potential PC users this made the innovation too complex to consider buying. Then a graphical user interface was developed and incorporated by Apple Computer into the Lisa computer in 1983 (Author(s): The Open University

5.5 Entrepreneur

From this it is clear that money is a key requirement for transforming an invention into an innovation. Money pays for the people and equipment needed to refine the invention into a practical working prototype, and money pays for manufacturing it.

A key role in providing this vital monetary support is played by the entrepreneur. This is a persuasive individual or group providing the resources and organisation necessary to turn the invention into an innovation.

Entrepreneurs
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1.3.2 Systems diagrams and diagrams helpful for systems work

Diagrams are used extensively in systems thinking and practice. All of those types included in the animated tutorial, as well as other types not covered there, can or have been used in systems studies. As mentioned at the beginning of the unit the use of diagrams is very personal. For instance I find it helpful to group diagrams into three sorts depending on when they are to be used:

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1.2.6 Working with other people's diagrams – representing text as diagrams

In this section I want to show how you can use diagrams to help you understand what someone else has written, and it does not matter how well you can draw as long as they make sense to you. As you become more confident at drawing diagrams for yourself, you will then be able to move on to drawing diagrams to show someone else.

At this stage you might still be doubtful as to the usefulness of diagrams for understanding situations. So, why not try using one?

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12.1.2 Focus groups

A focus group is simply a group of people gathered together to discuss a particular issue. They have been used in all kinds of social and market research, including political policy making. In market research for product design, a focus group might be a group of purchasers of a particular product brought together to discuss their feelings and attitudes towards the product and rival products; or perhaps their general likes and dislikes about those types of products. The intention of the market
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12.1 Gathering data

In this section I will review some of the approaches and methods used by companies for identifying and exploiting marketing opportunities.

All over the world, producer companies have increasingly learned to keep a careful watch on emerging consumer requirements and changing user needs and wishes. They have not only learned to listen to what consumers say, but to watch what they do. Techniques used in market research to gather consumers’ views on products include both quantitative meth
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9.1.5 Immersion

Click on the 'View document' link below to read Jordan on 'Immersion'.

View document16.1KB PDF document<
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5.11 Plumbo-solvency

Many water supplies in the UK are naturally acidic, and when this type of water is supplied through lead pipes the lead dissolves into the water. Lead pipes are dominant in many older established areas. The Drinking Water Directive has set a maximum admissible concentration of 10 μg 1−1 lead in water, to be achieved by the year 2013. The obvious solution to this problem is to remove all lead piping but this is a costly exercise. As an interim measure, the water l
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3.4.1 Fracture surface

One half of the eye at the joint is shown in Figure 38(a), and it shows two breaks in the limbs either side of the pin-hole. Although both appear brittle in this picture, in fact one side showed signs of ductile deformation. The way it had fractured was unique when compared with the other eye b
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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8.8 Hinduism as ‘a world religion’: a more recent understanding

Traditionally, as we have seen, a Hindu was someone born to Hindu parents and into a caste with its appropriate dharma. The link between religious practice and a whole way of life bound the individual into a community from birth. Regional factors, parentage and caste affiliation largely determi
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5.4 A dimensional model of religion

Given the problems of devising a succinct definition of religion, some contemporary scholars have produced broader profiles of religion without claiming to identify one distinguishing characteristic. One example of this kind of approach is the seven-dimensional model of religion proposed by Ninian Smart, a specialist in the study of world religions. Smart argues that, if his model is adequate, ‘then we do not need to worry greatly about further definition of religion’ (Smart, 1989, p. 21)
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References

A.B. Chace (tr. and ed.), The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, Mathematical Association of America, 1927.
A. Erman, The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, Mathematical Association of America, 1927.
A. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, Oxford, 1957 (third edition), pp. 196-197.
Aristotle, Metaphysics 981b 2
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