analytical thinking

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An analytical thinking orientation focuses the efforts to understand and design systems on the structure of the system. Understanding of the whole is sought based on understanding the parts of the system and how they are assembled to form the whole.

Traditional Western management thinking --
Analytical thinking orients systems inquiry towards analysis as opposed to synthesis or a process orientation. The thinking of Western business leaders has traditionally been analytical in nature.

Traditional thinking characteristics --

  • Focusing on events vs. understanding patterns and their causes.
  • Viewing behavior of organizations as being driven by external forces. This tend to lead to overly complex models which have many variables outside the control of management.
  • An obsession with detail and measurement accuracy.
  • Correlation vs. rigorous causal thinking.
  • Simplistic causality as a linear set of cause and effects.
  • Paying more attention, and giving more weight to, things that can be measured and refining measures. This is to the neglect of relevant variables that defy current accurate measurement.
  • Seeking of frameworks and models which are true, as opposed to focusing on understanding their effectiveness and applicability, knowing that all models are wrong to some degree.