is arrived at by cross-referencing the two categories and groups problem contexts into six types: simple-unitary, complex-unitary, simple-pluralist, complex-pluralist, simple-coercive, and complex-coercive.
There are several paradigms in SOSM
, as introduced by Jackson, including hard system thinking, soft system thinking (Checkland, 1981; Checkland and Holwell, 1998), and so on.
In management science the development of meta-theoretical and theoretical frameworks such as SOSM, TSI and Local Systemic Interventions (LSI) stand as clear examples of categorization of knowledge and methods which support the notion of pluralism.
On one hand, there are moderate theoretical supporters who want to see multimethodology as a mere extension of classical methodologies and several other frameworks such as TSI and SOSM.
Although a deal of debate has developed as to the `functionalist' or `critical' reading of this typology, it can be considered that, based upon the ideal of seeking complementarity between approaches which have differing philosophical grounds, SOSM is a major contribution to technical guidelines for methodological choice between hard, soft and critical approaches (Brocklesby, 1994).
One of the creators of SOSM -- Jackson -- has sought to build upon similar ideological foundations, particularly with Flood and Jackson's (1991) `total systems intervention' to extend the SOSM framework as a basis for methodological complementarity.
As reflected in the SOSM this may be appropriate where only a singular or unitary decision-making goals are present.
It was concluded eventually that the situation could be mapped onto the `unitary-complex' sextant of the SOSM.
However, if a project situation becomes more coercive as events unfold, then clearly TSI has few answers, due to the lack of methodologies in the complex-coercive sextant of the SOSM (although Ulrich's critical systems heuristics (1983) has been mooted as a candidate in the past).