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Meaning-making in the process of participatory system dynamics research

Zimmermann, NS; Black, LJ; Shrubsole, C; Davies, M; (2015) Meaning-making in the process of participatory system dynamics research. In: (Proceedings) 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society.

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Abstract

Similar to validation techniques, participatory methods try to alleviate bounded rationality in the process of modelling in order to build better models. In addition, they aim to change par-ticipants understanding, decision making and actions. While good examples of best practice exist in participatory system dynamics, a unified underlying social theory of collaboration or learning, or even competing theories are missing. To support the development of a theoretical-ly grounded participatory process, we draw on the distinction of bounded rationality repre-sented in model content as well as in the modelling process itself and specifically draw on theories of meaning construction by George Herbert Mead and relate them to a case example in the area of housing. We argue that participatory methods should include four elements of meaning-making (i.e. gesturing, naming, acting, and iterating) in order to change participant’s mental models. This will also change the contents represented in the generated system dynam-ics models, e.g. from a fragmented to a more holistic view.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Meaning-making in the process of participatory system dynamics research
Event: 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society
Location: Cambridge, MA
Dates: 19 July 2015 - 23 July 2015
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470562
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