When Worldviews Collide: An attempt at integrating systems oriented design and implementation science

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Health & Well-being, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Dagfinn Mørkrid Thøgersen, Josina Vink, and Andreas Wettre

Implementation is very often complex and messy. It involves many stakeholders with a range of perspectives and frequently reveals unforeseen consequences of our intended design. Systems-oriented design (SOD) proposes engaged, open and iterative processes where complexities and emergence are embraced and accounted for. As such, SOD can inform a useful, alternative approach to implementation, although it has foundational differences when compared to implementation science. Implementation science provides phase-based, process-focused frameworks that aim to systematically identify and address contextual and systemic barriers and enablers. The focus of implementation science is on how a predefined, often research-driven innovation is to be delivered in practice in a way that is similar to its original design. With this, implementation science risks making systems rigid and inflexible by contributing to set, predetermined and known standards. This lies in contrast to a systems-oriented design approach, which aims to develop more adaptive, self-managed and emergent systems. This presentation discusses the fundamental assumptions in systems-oriented design and implementation science and explores how SOD can contribute to and benefit from implementation science. We analyze the application of integrating systems-oriented design and implementation science across varying levels of problem complexity, starting from well-defined and contained problems with a pre-existing solution to wicked problems at the societal level that are inherently unsolvable. We propose directions for future research and practice exploring the tensions and opportunities within and between these perspectives.

This papers is in production. RSD12 proceedings April 2024.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Dagfinn Mørkrid Thøgersen, Josina Vink and Andreas Wettre
Year: 2023
Title: When Worldviews Collide: An attempt at integrating systems oriented design and implementation science
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 10 November 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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