Further Exploration of SSM Mode 2 in the Case of Online Distance Education. UK Annual Operational Research Conference, University of Kent, UK, September 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In knowledge realms like problem structuring methods (PSM) or applied systems thinking (AST), soft systems methodology or SSM has become a popular enquiring approach that can help researchers understand and manage complex situations. More recently, increasing awareness on how researchers elaborate and present models using SSM and other methodologies has led some to argue that there needs to be more in-depth understanding of behavioural dimensions in processes of model building and dissemination (Hamalainen,
Suoma and Saarinen, 2013; Franco and Hamalainen, 2015).

This presentation and paper in progress extends understandings on the use of SSM by focusing on its mode 2 of use (Checkland and Scholes, 1990) to suggest new avenues for enquiry in relation to how introverts (Cain, 2012) would use
this mode. A case study on exploring online distance education or ODE in a higher education institution in Saudi Arabia is crafted to highlight different learning cycles and supporting conceptual models emerging from considering issues of access by an introvert researcher. The insights of the study are used to propose key learning and practice SSM mode 2 strategies which could help introvert researchers deal with complexities encountered in similar situations.
Period3 Sept 2019
Event titleUK Operational Research Society Annual Conference: OR61
Event typeConference
Conference number61
LocationCanterbury, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Systems Thinking
  • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Online Distance Education