STIB: The Systemic Thinking Inventory For Business


  • Raghu Kurthakoti Arcadia University
  • Annette L. Halpin Arcadia University


This paper presents a scale to measure systemic thinking among business students called the Systemic Thinking Inventory for Business (STIB). Based on literature related to cognitive styles, three dimensions of systemic thinking were identified -Locus of Attention, Inter-Relatedness and Flexibility. A 16-item instru-ment was developed to capture the three dimensions. The scale's validity and reliability were assessed through an explor-atory factor analysis and the three dimensional structure was supported. Pre- and Post-simulation analysis of scores on STIB showed that students significantly improve their locus of atten-tion as they progress through the simulation. Individual-based simulations were also found to exhibit a diminished level of flexible thinking. An attempt to link STIB scores to simulation performance indicates that the Inter-Relatedness dimension of systemic thinking was positively related to average time spent making a decision as well as average stock price. Implications and future research are also discussed.