Call for Papers: Army Research Institute

Development of a Measure to Assess Systems Thinking


The ARI – Request for White Papers: Development of a Measure to Assess Systems Thinking is a standalone white paper request for a sub-topic (BAA TOPIC A-8.b.1: Strategic Leadership) from ARI’s 5 year open Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), ARI BAA for Basic, Applied, and Advanced Scientific Research (2018-2023).

Amount: Budget shall not to exceed $600,000.00
Period of Performance: The award will be approximately a 24-month period of performance
Deadline: No later than 8 November 2018 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Eligibility: Institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations, domestic or foreign, for research and development (R&D). Foreign countries included on the U.S. State Department List of Countries that Support Terrorism are excluded from participation in these efforts

Request for research: The United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences is the Army’s lead agency for the conduct of research, development, and analyses for the improvement of Army readiness and performance via research advances and applications of the behavioral and social sciences that address personnel, organization, training, and leader development issues.

The requested research will develop a comprehensive measure of effective engagement in systems thinking among Army leaders. The measure can consist of one tool or a battery of assessments— whichever one can be demonstrated to best achieve the aforementioned purpose. The measure will gauge the development of systems thinking during or after systems thinking training that the Army already has in place. The purpose of the planned measure is not to evaluate an individual’s systems thinking skills for selection purposes. Therefore, the planned measure should be usable in a pretest-posttest design. Systems thinking training in the Army may be focused and explicit, or it may be diffuse and implied. An example of focused and explicit training may be a course called Introduction to Systems Thinking. An example of diffuse and implied training may be a course on hypothesis testing, which teaches students how to obtain empirical knowledge by engaging in sound scientific procedures, one of which is systems thinking. The measure in question should capture effective engagement in systems thinking in different types of training that range from focused and explicit to diffuse and implied.

If the White Paper merits it, a request of a formal proposal will be initiated by ARI.

White paper guidelines: The 5 page White Paper shall describe how front-end-analysis information should be collected as well as recommendations on what type of measure is appropriate at specific Army personnel levels. Such recommendation will use information from the preceding objectives. The description of the comprehensive measure should consider specific systems thinking training that the Army already has in place and include a variety of processes that include, but are not limited to, collaborations, discussions, class participations, and drafts of outcomes and include a variety of outcomes that include, but are not limited to, presentations, tests, papers, and other graded submissions. The White Paper also shall describe methods to demonstrate the measure’s validity (e.g., construct validity, convergent or discriminative validity, or other relevant aspects of validity).

Efforts funded under this White Paper request will only include Applied Research and/or Advanced Technology Development.