The following table notes the days for which readings are to be prepared (NOTE: before the class in which we discuss them). It also indicates which sections of the text you should be sure to read to learn the material you will need to do the assignments, and which sections you can skim (NOTE: 'skim' ≠ 'skip').

[BD] = Buy at Amazon Sterman, J. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. McGraw-Hill / Irwin, 2000. ISBN: 9780072389159.


Introduction: Purpose and concepts of system dynamics

[BD] Read Chapter 1.

Collins, Ross D., et al. "Forest Fire Management to Avoid Unintended Consequences: A Case Study of Portugal using System Dynamics." Journal of Environmental Management 130 (2013): 1–9.


System Dynamics Tools Part 1: Building a model

[BD] Read Chapter 3.1–3.4, and skim section 3.5.


System Dynamics Tools Part 2: Problem definition and model purpose; building theory with causal loop diagrams

[BD] Read Chapter 5, and skim sections 5.4, and 5.6.

4 System Dynamics Tools Part 3: Mapping the stock and flow structure of systems

[BD] Read Chapter 6, and skim sections 6.2.7–6.2.9, 6.3.4, and 6.3.6.

5 System Dynamics Tools Part 4: Dynamics of stocks and flows; linking feedback with stock and flow structure

[BD] Read Chapter 7.

Jones, Andrew P., et al. "Understanding Diabetes Population Dynamics Through Simulation Modeling and Experimentation." American Journal of Public Health 96, no. 3 (2006): 488–94.

6 System Dynamics Tools Part 5: Understanding the Dynamics of Simple Systems [BD] Skim sections 8.1, 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.3, and 8.4.
7 System Dynamics Tools Part 6: Analyzing Systems and Creating Robust Policies [BD] Chapter 9.1–9.2.
8 Industry dynamics and diffusion models

RSC case: Farr, Warren. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Using System Dynamics to Create Durable Business Strategy." (PDF)

[BD] 9.3–9.4.

9 Growth Strategies: Network externalities, complementarities, and path dependence

[BD] Read Chapter 10, and skim section 10.2.

10 Guest Lecture: Mark Paich System Dynamics at General Motors and beyond Barabba, Vince, et al. "A Multimethod Approach for Creating New Business Models: The General Motors OnStar Project." Interfaces 32, no. 1 (2002): 20–34.
11 Interactions of Operations, Strategy, and Human Resource Policy: The case of People Express Prepare for case discussion: Schlesinger, Leonard A., and Debra Whitestone. "People Express (A)." Harvard Business Publishing. Case No. 9–483–103, 2000.
12 Lessons from People Express.
Course wrap up and evaluations.
No reading due.