Introducing SD modelling into planning and control systems to manage SMEs’ growth: a learning-oriented perspective

Author: Carmine Bianchi

This article emphasises the need for a learning-oriented approach to planning and control as a prerequisite for SMEs’ survival and growth. Such a perspective can be effectively pursued through the development of interactive learning environments linking system dynamics (SD) and accounting models, which provide two complementary views of business phenomena. In order to properly support the drawing up of business plans and the evaluation of results associated with their implementation, the use of financial SD models embodying the accounting perspective is recommended. This is likely to enhance a shift in SME key actors’ minds, as they will be able to analyse under the feedback view financial variables they are used to frame only through the accounting ‘lens’. The article remarks how the specific features that sharply differentiate SMEs from larger firms discourage any systematic replication of the approaches commonly adopted in bigger companies practice, where SD has been more widely utilised. Copyright – 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Paper published in: System Dynamics Review Vol. 18, No. 3, (Fall 2002): 315–338