Achieving Consensus within SSM

Berg, T., Pooley, R., Queenan, J. (2011). Achieving Consensus within SSM. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1, (4), .



SSM is a socio-technical system methodology offering tools for analysing complex situations. This modelling
approach identifies differing worldviews of the system by encouraging discussion and debate. Academic
ethical studies of moral philosophy have been extensively studied but rarely attributed to system modelling.
We investigate the possibility of an ethical dimension to SSM comparing it to the ethical theories of duty,
conduct and justice. This paper identifies the key problem areas when requirement gathering in group
situations. We investigate the negative groupthink syndromes that occur within groups and discuss the
concept of ‘fairness with particular emphasis on the management of facilitator power. It is concluded that
participatory system methodologies that feature holism and worldviews have clear links with moral
philosophy.. The desirable system outcome requires man and machine to work in harmony. This can be better
implemented when there is a deepened understanding of the moral complexities of group requirement
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Tessa Berg
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