Graduate Research School Available Projects Complex systems thinking and modelling to navigate wicked business problems

Complex systems thinking and modelling to navigate wicked business problems

Title of Project

Complex systems thinking and modelling to navigate wicked business problems


Professor Nico Adams, in collaboration with Professor Siggi Gudergan

College or Research Centre

College of Business, Law & Governance; College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

Business challenges frequently surface as inadvertent byproducts of past actions. Businesses, and the ecosystems within which they operate, often grapple with policy resistance – the inclination for well-meant interventions to be thwarted by the system’s reaction to the very interventions themselves. Through capturing the numerous interlinked and interdependent components within the ecosystem, as well as dynamic and nonlinear interactions amongst them, complex systems modelling can unveil the many unforeseeable emergent behaviours and outcomes that prove arduous to manage.

Given the significance of navigating such complexities, senior management must cultivate proficiency in systems thinking. However, the precise impact of complex systems modelling on their decision-making process, which necessitates adaptability, remains unclear. Adaptive decision-making involves assimilating knowledge, enhancing understanding, and tailoring managerial decisions effectively, all aimed at adeptly managing uncertainties.

We invite expressions of interest from potential doctoral researchers to engage in projects aimed at unravelling how the structure and data generated by complex systems modelling influence the strategic decisions of senior management, especially when these decisions carry substantial consequences, such as those involving significant capital investments. Doctoral research projects will discern how such modelling facilitates adaptive decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

Advisors: Professor Nico AdamsProfessor Siggi Gudergan

Key Words

complex systems thinking; complex systems modelling; strategic management; managerial decision making

Would suit an applicant who

is a professional and wants to advance thought leader knowledge and competencies as a means to move into senior consultant, advisor, director, partner, top management, and similar roles; or aspires to be a future academic who wants to have a successful career in business schools around the globe.

Updated: 11 Aug 2023