Using Soft Systems Methodology in Social Sciences: Improvement of the Research Methods Module at the Department of Information Studies at Sultan Qaboos University as an example

Nabhan AlHarrasi

Abstract


The aim of this research is to examine the usefulness of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as an approach to develop a plan for improving the Research Methods module at the Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University. Moreover, the study examines the capacity of SSM in involving different tools for data collections including questionnaire, interviews, and document analysis for exploring the different viewpoints and needs of research participants. The results indicate that SSM greatly facilitated understanding participants’ different viewpoints regarding delivery of change. Moreover, SSM was instrumental in identifying the type and scope of the required change. The various types of conceptual models enabled accommodation of participants’ different perspectives and development of a change plan that would reflect the needs of students. The research found that SSM dealt effectively with the complexity of this situation in which different sources of information, students’ different backgrounds and perspectives, and internal and external factors all required consideration. Therefore SSM is highly recommended for use in making improvements to other social science courses and modules.

 


Keywords


Soft Systems Methodology; Research Methods in Social Sciences; Conceptual Models.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jass.vol7iss3pp5-15

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Copyright (c) 2017 Nabhan AlHarrasi

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JASS 2017-CC BY-ND

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