Behavior

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Broadly, we may identify two approaches to the behavioral analysis of causal maps:

1. The first approach relies on computer simulation of causal maps. In both cases —

prediction and analysis — it is assumed that since a causal map represents a system

of cause-effect linkages, once the values of the causes change, logically the

effects should change. Here the focus is on logical connections, i.e., what can the

intrinsic patterns of relationships within a causal map tell us about future behavior

of the unit (e.g., a competitor), without recourse to additional observations.

2. The second approach, which we will call empirical, tries to link the causal maps of

any social unit to the actual behavior of the unit itself. Advocated primarily by

students of the organization science school, this approach seeks to isolate

empirically the behaviors that can be linked to causal maps. The key assumption

is that under many conditions these linkages are stable. Hence, once the linkages

are empirically established, the behaviors can be predicted from the knowledge of

causal maps.

Figure 1 sketches the plan of our review of the approaches to the study of the behavior

of causal maps.

Simulation Empirical Approaches

Computer Influence Fuzzy Causal

Simulation Diagrams Maps

Figure 1. A schematic of approaches

Behavior of Causal Maps