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Value(s): Taking a Systems/COR Critical Perspective

Weaver, Miles; Tan, Hock



Mark Carney - the former Governor of the Bank of England calls for a new kind of economics and attacks the prevalent neo-liberal paradigm, in his 2021 book, Value(s) Building a Better World for All. Echoing the Financial Times attempts to "reset capitalism", arguing for stakeholder capitalism and businesses putting "purpose beyond profit". This narrative is gaining traction as the world seeks to "build back better" following a global pandemic; in light of a climate emergency and recognition that we are in our final decade for action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this session, the authors review Mark Carney's proposition of Value(s) and suggest the need for clarity to distinguish between the concept of 'value' and how this is created by putting 'values' into action. Particularly, in light of Midgley, Johnson and Chichirau (2017) clarification that Community Operational Research concerns the meaningful engagement of communities and highlighting of more recent COR applications in a business context. It is also important to note the importance placed by the United Nations on 'Systems Thinking' being a core skill to build capacity and accelerate progress towards the SDGs. Recognising competing objectives and multiple different perspectives of differing problem situation(s) from multiple stakeholders. The Sustainability challenge is our ultimate wicked problem. The authors argue to build capacity for sustainability, particularly in supporting business to balance purpose with profit in stakeholder relationships, there is a need to review systems and systemic approaches for attaining the SDGs across partnerships (See Weaver, Tan and Crossan, 2020 for a review of approaches in this context). This includes revisiting Checkland and others 'underlying systems concept' and approaches such as boundary critique and Critical Systems Heuristics that can help to distinguish value and boundary judgements, plus methods that can help bring about intervention (e.g. SSM, Systemic Intervention, Theory U).

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name OR63: Operational Research Society 63rd Annual Conference
Start Date Sep 14, 2021
End Date Sep 14, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 15, 2021
Keywords systems thinking; community based operational research; value(s); business for good; business sustainability
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