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Integrative Thinking

Rotman Commerce
Course Code
John Oesch

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What is Integrative Thinking?
"The ability to face constructively the tension of opposing models and instead of choosing one at
the expense of the other, to generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new
model that contains elements of the individual models but is superior to each."
~ RotmanSchool of Management (2005)
How to be an “Integrative Thinker
•Understand your own models, Safeguard against systematic perceptual and decision
making biases, Collect relevant feedback to model yourself, and to model others,
Generalize models to include people and environmental factors, and Resolve model
differences by identifying new and better models identify assumptions and think about
what would happen if the assumption was not valid
A model is a cognitive or physical representation of the world that provides us with
Models are most often descriptions or explanations of phenomena, causal links between
events, or metaphorical representations of how we perceive reality
Reality is unknowable (shadows on the wall of the cave), Objective reality can be
interpreted through a series of cues. These cues act as a lens that we use to create
images of reality
•Our perceptions help to form mental models of reality.
Wicked Decision Problems: with Wicked Problems:
•Each attempt at devising a solution changes the understanding of the problem
•It is hard to tell when the problem is “solved
•Their causes and possible solutions are ambiguous
•Theyre connected to other problems but still unique
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the
same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that
things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald