The capacity to engage in systems thinking is often viewed as being a product of being able to understand complex systems due to one’s facility in mastering systems theories, methods, and being able to adeptly reason. Relatively little attention is paid in the systems literature to the processes of learning from experience and creating knowledge as a direct consequence of individuals engaging systems thinking itself over time. In fact, the potential efficacy of systems thinking to improve performance normally seen as only contingent on a priori knowledge, rather than knowledge created via learning from experience. Such newly create knowledge often results from engaging in modeling efforts and systemic forms of inquiry.
This article proposes a model for creating new knowledge by coupling systems modeling with a pragmatic approach to knowledge-creation. This approach is based on a foundation of the pragmatic concepts first proposed by the American philosopher/scientist Charles Sanders Peirce over a century ago. This model offers systems practitioners a framework to engage in knowledge-intensive systems thinking (KIST) for addressing complex problematic issues.