Looking at Ourselves: Thoughts on Process and Product in Applied Systems Analysis

Clark, W.C. (1975) Looking at Ourselves: Thoughts on Process and Product in Applied Systems Analysis. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria, WP-75-110

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Abstract

This paper raises some issues concerning the practice and utilization of applied systems analysis (ASA). Our present concept of good ASA necessarily implies two assumptions: (1) It is socially desirable to make decisions in the most rational manner possible, and (2) The details of the ASA process, do not significantly effect the nature of the ASA product.

In the body of this paper I argue that these assumptions are at very least open to question, and in all likelihood quite unjustifiable. Present practice relies completely on the validity on these assumptions and criticism of the latter necessarily implies some fairly fundamental misgivings as to the appropriate conduct and utilization of ASA.

I do not seek to denigrate the real strengths and advantages of good ASA, and do not have in mind any specific alternatives to the viewpoint expressed by Raiffa above. But ASA and even IIASA are finally beginning to come of age, and both could surely benefit from a bit of serious, if unaccustomed, introspection at this point in their histories.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: General Research (GEN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:41
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2016 20:27
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/318

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