Scriptapedia/Validity of models

Literature suggests that there are ways to evaluate the model(s) constructed from the group modelling session(s). There many ways to evaluate validity in qualitative inquiry, based on the lens chosen: the researcher's, the participants' or external parties' and the paradigm adopted: positivist, constructivist or critical (Creswell & Miller, 2000).

Validity Procedures Within Qualitative Lens and Paradigm Assumptions  

Lens Postpositivist or Systematic Paradigm   Constructivist Paradigm  Critical Paradigm 
Lens of the Researcher   Triangulation   Disconfirming evidence   Researcher reflexivity  
Lens of Study Participants   Member checking   Prolonged engagement in the field   Collaboration 
Lens of People External to the Study (Reviewers, Readers)   The audit trail   Thick, rich description   Peer debriefing

Another useful way to consider effectiveness is to evaluate reaction; insight; commitment and behavior; communication; fostering common language; building consensus or mental model alignment; system changes, results, and further use of modeling. Andersen, Richardson & Vennix (1997) also highlighted that models can be evaluated according to how replicable, cumulative, refutable and how much it met its intended outcomes. Though not necessarily evaluating validity, these factors can provide insight to modelers. The "structural" approach is an emerging method to evaluating the potential usefulness of models (Wright & Wallis, 2019) based on multiple streams of research showing that individuals and groups with more structured knowledge are better able to understand their situations and take effective action to reach their goals.


Andersen, D. F., Richardson, G. P., & Vennix, J. A. (1997). Group model building: adding more science to the craft. System dynamics review, 13(2), 187-201.

Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into practice, 39(3), 124-130.

Rouwette, E. A., Vennix, J. A., & Mullekom, T. V. (2002). Group model building effectiveness: a review of assessment studies. System Dynamics Review, 18(1), 5-45.

Wright, B., Wallis, S. (2019). Practical Mapping for Applied Research and Program Evaluation. Sage Publications. ISBN 9781544323343.