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Systemic combinatory use of Brainstorming, Mind-Maps and Rich Pictures for analysis of complex problem spaces

  • Joseph Azzopardi
Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 38-47
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Proceedings of ECRM 2009
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag
Förlag: ACI Academic Conferences International


For years tools and techniques such as Brainstorming, Mind-Maps and Rich Pictures have been used in both academic and professional practices to assist people with making sense of complex problem spaces. These tools have their supporters and in many cases their uses can be argued to be interchangeable. Seldom however have they been systematically applied in combination in theory or practice. Even though that these techniques have different analytical focal points their combined usage has not been distinctively elaborated upon. They have different strengths and weaknesses which supports their users in meaning shaping and practical reflective thinking in contextual analysis. Not only do these tools draw upon different historical backgrounds but they are also usually employed in a basis of different philosophical groundings. In this paper we will show how a philosophically common grounding can be achieved to combine the strengths of these three techniques. The discussion will include the outline of the complementarities of the different focal points of the techniques in application and describe their individual unique strengths. We will outline how the inherent weaknesses of each of the techniques can be overcome with the support of the other two. We will also demonstrate, with practical examples, a particular systemic approach to transfer and develop further the analysis from one technique to another in a systematic fashion. The approach described in this paper allows the combined techniques to be used in an organised and structured way to expand the sense-making and reflective ability of the analyst when dealing with uncertain and complex problem spaces.


  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • critically informed research
  • problem-solving
  • reflection
  • Brainstorming
  • Rich Pictures
  • Mind-maps
  • systems analysis


ECRM 2009. The 8th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management
  • ISBN: 978-1906638-31-3

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