Assessment and analysis
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Assessment and Analysis. “Get the beat and listen to the wisdom of the system.” Donella Meadows. Dispute System Design Model. Implementation. Assessment & Analysis. Design & Development. Feedback & Evaluation. Why conduct an assessment?.

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Assessment and Analysis

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Assessment and analysis

Assessment and Analysis

“Get the beat and listen to the wisdom of the system.”

Donella Meadows

Dispute system design model

Dispute System Design Model



& Analysis


& Development


& Evaluation

Why conduct an assessment

Why conduct an assessment?

  • If you don’t understand the problem, any solution looks good.

  • Premature identification of solutions blocks off the exploration of other problem elements.

  • Jumping to conclusions wastes time and resources.

Assessment and analysis1

Assessment and Analysis

  • Assessment is the systematic study of a problem, incorporating data and opinions from varied sources, in order to make effective decisions or recommendations about what should happen next.

  • Analysis focuses on the nature and cause of the gap between desired performance and actual performance.

Elements of a conflict management system

Elements of a conflict management system

  • the processes

  • the people

  • the rules

  • the physical environment

  • the beliefs

  • the values

Conflict management system

Conflict Management System



  • Customers

  • Employees

  • Supervisors

  • Management

  • Union

  • Sole Proprietor

  • Partners

  • Shareholders

Data collection methods

Data Collection Methods

  • Interview

  • Focus Groups

  • Examination of Documents

  • Surveys

  • Observation

Assessment tools

Assessment Tools

  • Gap Analysis

  • Asking Questions

  • Social Network Maps

  • Causal Loop Diagrams

Charts and networks

Charts and Networks

“The organizational chart shows you the formal rules. But the ropes of the organization, how it actually works, is the human network.”

Thorton May, Futurist from UCLA

“what is defining culture is not the hierarchy. It is the network.”

Karen Stephenson

The meaning of network

To Network (verb)

“engaging people at a social level and developing trust based relationships.”

Network (noun)

“a seamless and invisible web of trusted connections between people. Trust is the glue that holds these networks together.”

The meaning of network



  • Living (as opposed to non-living systems) are autopoietic networks.

  • Feedback is intimately connected with the network pattern.

  • No hierarchies:only networks nesting within other networks.

  • Each node, when magnified, appears itself as a network.

Branan s maps 1964

Branan’s Maps 1964

Internet close up 2002

Internet-Close Up 2002

Kite network

Kite Network

Network archetypes

Network Archetypes

  • Hubs are highly connected knowledge brokers.

  • Pulsetakers have to access others and monitor what is happening.

  • Gatekeepers link people together and control over the flow of information.

Knowledge networks

Knowledge Networks

  • Work

  • Social

  • Innovation

  • Expert

  • Strategic

  • Learning

Multiple cause diagrams

Multiple Cause Diagrams

Multiple cause diagrams portray and explore interconnectedness in a system of interest. In particular, they help explore, why something happened (events) and states (how things are).

Interconnected causality

Interconnected Causality


Narrow shoes>blisters

Worn tires>punctures

A insults B>B is angry with A

Drink Beer> Getting Drunk

Assessment and analysis


Drink Beer>Getting Drunk and

Getting Drunk>Drink Beer!


Getting Drunk>Feeling Sick

Getting Drunk>Annoyed Partner

Getting Drunk>No money

Feedback loops

Feedback Loops

“A feedback loop is a circular arrangement of causally connected elements, in which an initial cause propagates around the links of the loop, so that each element has an effect on the next, until the last “feeds back” the effect into the first element of the cycle.” (Capra 56)

Self balancing reinforcing

Self Balancing (or negative)

[aka regulatory]

Helps keep a system on track once the course has been established.

E.g. Thermostats, Managers who review behavior against expectations.

Self-Reinforcing (or positive)

[aka runaway effects, viscous circles, self fulfilling prophecy, bandwagon effect]

Initial effect continues to be amplified as it travels repeatedly around the loop. 


Self Balancing & Reinforcing

Creating multiple cause diagrams

Creating Multiple Cause Diagrams

  • Describe state or event

  • Ask: “What causes this?” (Factors A, B, C, etc.)

  • What else?

  • What causes each of the first level factors?

  • What else?

  • And so on…

Senge s archetypes

Senge’s Archetypes

  • Balancing Process With Delay

  • Limits to Growth

  • Shifting the Burden

  • Escalation

  • Success to the successful

  • Fixes that fail

Limits to growth

Limits to Growth

Shifting the burden

Shifting the Burden

Feedback and evaluation

Feedback and Evaluation

Organizations are dynamic, ever changing,

and so conflict systems must continually

monitor and adapt.

Spidr OCM Sector

Evaluation criteria

Evaluation Criteria

  • Efficient: time, money, resources

  • Effective: Nature and durability of resolutions

  • Satisfactory: process, outcome, and relationship

Shift of emphasis

Shift of emphasis

  • From objects to relationships

  • From quantity to quality

  • From substance to pattern

Mark lombardi

Mark Lombardi

Social feedback loops

Social Feedback Loops

  • As communications recur in multiple feedback loops, they produce a shared system of beliefs, explanations, and values-a common context of meaning-that is continually sustained by further communications.

  • Culture is created by a social network involving multiple feedback loops through which values, beliefs, and rules of conduct are continually communicated, modified, and sustained.

    Niklas Luhmann

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