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Systems 2014, 2(3), 297-312; doi:10.3390/systems2030297
Article

A Designed Framework for Delivering Systems Thinking Skills to Small Business Managers

1,* , 2
 and 3
1 The University of Adelaide Business School, 10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide 5005, Australia 2 QUT Business School, The Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4001, Australia 3 ASEAN Research Institute, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2014 / Revised: 5 June 2014 / Accepted: 12 June 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet)
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Abstract

Many small businesses suffer from inadequate management skills which can lead to poor business performance and unsustainable businesses. Research to date has focused on traditional skills such as communication, time management and people skills, yet critically many business managers have no systems thinking skills. This paper presents a framework targeted at delivering systems thinking skills to managers of small businesses utilizing some key characteristic of small business managers. The design is also based on a systems analysis and guided by both adult learning theory and teaching theory. The quality of a training framework depends on the quality of the content design and the right training delivery methods. The systems thinking skills training framework structured systems thinking knowledge into three modules in order to meet the needs of different levels of managers. The framework advocates blended training delivery methods and it also presents possible pitfalls based on training experiences. Additionally, the framework incorporates a continuous improvement process for ongoing systemic improvement.
Keywords: small business manager; systems thinking; adult learning; systemic structure; mental model small business manager; systems thinking; adult learning; systemic structure; mental model
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, D.; Hyland, P.; Cui, H. A Designed Framework for Delivering Systems Thinking Skills to Small Business Managers. Systems 2014, 2, 297-312.

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