Utilization of system dynamics in southern Africa: a systemic review

SOURCE: Systems Research and Behavioral Science
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.C.Brent, J.K.Musango, S.Smit, N.S.Pillay, A.Botha, R.Louw, S.Roper, T.Simelane, J.K.Clifford-Holmes, L.Pretorius
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9326

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Research efforts using system dynamics to understand and evaluate societal and policy-related problems in Southern Africa are becoming essential. This paper undertook a systematic review to examine the extent of utilization of system dynamics in Southern Africa between 2003 and 2014. The results showed that system dynamics has been used, or referred to, in the academic literature pertaining to the themes of environment, public policy and resources. Nevertheless, focuses remain limited in its application across various industries, particularly relating to stakeholder engagement and strategy. However, some analysis of the non-academic literature suggests that commercial practice of system dynamics has a different trend, where it is mainly used for strategic and tactical projects, mostly for industry clients. Thus, the current research outputs do not necessarily reflect the industry needs. This review is then useful to facilitate further discussions on practical applications of system dynamics through the South Africa System Dynamics Chapter.