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System dynamics: A methodology for testing dynamic behavioral hypotheses

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2 Author(s)
Sohn, T.W. ; Graduate Sch. of Manage., Rutgers Univ., Newark, NJ, USA ; Surkis, J.

The use of system dynamics as a methodology for modeling and testing dynamic behavioural hypotheses in organizational behavioural studies is presented. The system dynamics equivalent of March and Simons' (1958) motivation model is constructed to study its behavioural consequences; it provides an analysis of both the steady-state behaviour and the transient behaviour of the March-Simon motivation model. The methodology yields the dynamic consequences of hypotheses concerning relationships among the variables in the model. Furthermore, it does not necessarily require extensive empirical data for model construction. Rather, it may pinpoint the critical nature of certain variables prior to conducting the actual research. The dynamic behaviour obtained from this approach is identical to the analytical solution of the system of differential equations given in March and Simon's mathematical model. Three distinctive patterns of system behaviour emerge from the numerous experiments conducted with the model. Experimental results leading to these patterns and additional results concerning the time reach equilibrium and levels for the satisfaction variable are discussed.

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SMC-15 ,  Issue: 3 )