It is 20 years since the first discussions of the social reality implied by Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) attempted to lay the foundation for the development of Critical Systems Theory. Yet SSM itself has progressed dramatically since those first critiques of its underpinning social theory were first developed. The contention of this paper is that revisiting this area will reveal both weaknesses in the original analyses and show how the development of SSM has been affected. Revisiting the area also provides a focus for considering new directions for research and development. SSM is introduced and examined according to the primary literature and reevaluated using Burrell and Morgan 's four-paradigm matrix in order to understand the social reality implied by SSM The rest of the paper examines the criticisms of SSM, the recent evolution of SSM, and suggests fature directions for SSMs development.
7th Annual ANZSYS Conference: Systems in Management: The relevance of systems thinking in the contemporary world, Perth, Australia 27-28 November 2001
Proceedings of the 7th Annual ANZSYS Conference / W. Hutchinson, M. Warren (eds): pp.83-94