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page_244 next page > Page 244 well-being and emancipation is implied. As with any position it is ideologically oriented, however. Hard, cybernetic and soft systems approaches tend to be ideologically conservative. We are happy if our approach turns out to be a socially conscious and caring system of thought. Critical systems thinking is a politically conscious and self- reflective reflective approach, distinguished by an openly declared emancipatory interest in an equal distribution of power and chances to satisfy personal needs, and in liberating people from dominance by other people and forces they do not currently control. The critic might come back, of course, and ask if we are not simply liberal minded consultants, but when the coercive crunch comes whether we would not simply have to avoid the issues. We agree, this does raise a major dilemma. What should we do as managers, planners, decision makers or consultants when all the evidence we have highlights coercive forces at
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