A Critique of Theories and Challenges for Systems Thinking in practice

Theories and challenges for system thinking in practice by Gianpaolo Basile & Francesco Caputo (2017) is three pages article published on 16 March 2017. The article’s title is appropriate since systems thinking is a contemporary idea that has developed through numerous theories, yet some of the theories may not be applicable in a real-life situations. Secondly, there are myriad of challenges that have spawned with application of systems thinking in the modern organization; therefore, the need for articles that look at the theories and practices of system thinking is on the rise. The positive part of this article is that it also mentions the current need for radicalization in systems thinking and novel ideas in business and system operations models. Additionally, encouraging scientific methods in proving theories in these articles proves that the authors understand the logic of theory application.

Theory and practice are different when one is in action, and theories can only be applied through analytic scientific methods that have proved effective with time. The emphasis on communication in the article is also a vital point that readers should not take lightly; this is because systems thinking is all about communication through discussions, leading to long-lasting solutions to common problems. The article, however, has failed to deliver in some aspects; for instance, the article has failed to highlight the main theories that are predominant in systems thinking. Highlighting the theories enables the readers to go through them and focus on the theories that are working rather than those that have not yet been proven. Moreover, some theories have not yet been applied, and this gives room for experimentations since theories can only be made workable when tested.

All in all, the author’s relevance in matters of systems thinking is clearly shown in how they have highlighted how scientific methods should test systems thinking theories. Additionally, the language used and articulation of words and statements that are of significance in systems thinking shows that the authors clearly understand their topic of interest, and thus, readers end up informed. The empirical method mentioned in the article is also workable hence making the article a relevant resource to anyone who is interested in widening their knowledge in matters of systems thinking theories and practice.  The ideas emphasized in the article are significant when solving problems that circumnavigate around the application of system thinking theories.


Gianpaolo Basile & Francesco Caputo (2017) Theories and Challenges forSystems Thinking in Practice, Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 14:1, 1-3, DOI: 10.1080/14779633.2017.1291148

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