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< previous page page_189 next page > Page 189 form of relativism where every viewpoint must be accepted as equally valid. Generating mutual understanding by exploring world views is a process that theoretically can and should go on for ever. This poses a major difficulty in practical situations since there is no means of changing from abstract debate of alternative Weltanschauungen to pragmatic problem solving. SSM resolves this difficulty in an extremely unfortunate way. It simply leaves closure of the debate to the prevailing power structures as reflected in the dominant culture of the organisation. (d) As in Ackoff's interactive planning, participation also plays a significant role in SSM as the guarantee that the results obtained are legitimate and that they will secure sufficient support to be implemented. However, Checkland does not specify how far this participation should run or who should be involved. Participation is obviously of
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