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The Altimedes’ Comprehensive System Analysis Model (CSAM)    

The Altimedes’ Comprehensive System Analysis Model (CSAM) is a theoretical representation and framework used to understand the impact of situations in terms of different cause - effect relationships (known, knowable and retrospectively knowable), on how actors in a system interact to achieve individual or/and collective goals and how to resolve paradoxes which arise from the need to combine different ways of (inter)actions in human systems. It is a further development of the Agreement vs Certainty Matrix model of Prof. Ralph D. Stacey and other previous models. The Comprehensive System Analysis Model has been developed by the organisation sociologist Erik van Agtmaal and a team of management consultants in Altimedes Consultancy.

The model makes a difference between three distinct types of cause-effect relationships (phases) in a system, surrounded by a chaotic situation. Each phase has its own characteristics and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). A specific phase can be more or less dominant in a system. Phases can be different per level in a system. The agility of a system (e.g. mobility system, defence system, presidential administration, … ) depends on the ability of actors in a system to master and combine all phases and to switch from one phase of interaction to another, depending on the situation.

The CSAM is also used to understand intentional and spontaneous (clockwise and counter clockwise) dynamics in a system, fuzzy order, border areas or border lines between phases (phase transitions), the impact of the organisational structure, culture, communication channels and individual characteristics and how actual or new configurations of different phases at multi levels determine the behaviour of actors and the performance of a total system.

The Altimedes CSA Model is a strong instrument for Strategic Decision Making, Compound Risk assessments in addition to the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), the development of new business models, context based workplace innovation, Collaboration Performance Management, Organisation design etc.  

Use of the Altimedes’ CSAM in Collaboration Performance Management

Fig. 6 - CSAM Clockwise movements from one collaboration phase to another,
Altimedes, Nov. 2016

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Altimedes' comprehensive system analysis model