Five Core Dimensions of Purposeful System Transformation

Sandra Waddock,
Steve Waddell

Published Date: Nov 30, 2021 | Accepted Date: Aug 3, 2021 | Submitted Date: May 12, 2021


System transformation is fundamental, broad, deep, and multi-scalar change that involves a paradigm change, i.e., a radical shift, in five key interrelated and interactive dimensions that constitute the whole of a “complexly wicked” socio-ecological system. This paper discusses these dimensions and provides a rationale for focusing on them. The dimensions are purpose(s), perspectives, and performance metrics. They provide an umbrella for the other two, power(s) relationships and dynamics, and the combination of practices, policies, and processes (practices for short) that characterize how a given socio-ecological system operates.


transformation dimensions, system transformation, paradigm shift, purpose, perspectives, performance metrics

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