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Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A feedback systems approach, + Website, 2nd Edition by John D. W. Morecroft

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CHAPTER 1 The Appeal and Power of Strategic Modelling

Introduction1

I have always been fascinated by models and games and particularly by model conceptualisation, the process by which people represent and simplify situations from the real world to make sense of them. Consider for example, the popular board game of Monopoly. Players find themselves as property developers in an imaginary city. It could be London or New York, except of course (and this is the curious thing) the board doesn't look remotely like a real city or even like a geographical map of either city. The game board is just a large square of card on which are printed neatly labelled and coloured boxes displaying familiar place names like cheap and cheerful Old Kent Road in brown, bustling Trafalgar Square in red and elegant Mayfair in dark blue. There are houses and hotels, but no streets. There are stations, but no railway lines. There is a community chest, but no community of people. There is a jail, but no police department. Players move around the city with a throw of the dice in a curious assortment of vehicles: a boot, a ship, a horse, an iron, a cannon and even a top hat. It is a fantasy world, a much simplified view of real estate in a city, and yet it captures ...

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