System Dynamics for Business Policy

A firefighter and an engineer.

Using tools of system dynamics, students analyze complex management challenges, from fighting forest fires to new product development, and propose policy solutions that promote sustainable improvement. (Images courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of Energy.)


MIT Course Number

15.874 / 15.871

As Taught In

Fall 2003



Cite This Course

Course Highlights

This hands-on course draws from a variety of experiences to teach its material. Students develop and test computer simulation models in the assignments.

Course Description

15.874 and 15.871 provide an introduction to system dynamics modeling for the analysis of business policy and strategy. Students learn to visualize a business organization in terms of the structures and policies that create dynamics and regulate performance. The course uses role playing games, simulation models, and management flight simulators to develop principles for the successful management of complex strategies. Special emphasis will be placed on case studies of successful strategies using system dynamics.

15.874 is a full semester course and 15.871 is a half semester course. The two classes meet together and cover the same material for the first half of the term. In the second half of the semester, only 15.874 continues.

Morrison, J., John Sterman, and Nelson Repenning. 15.874 System Dynamics for Business Policy, Fall 2003. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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