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Dr Martin Reynolds

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Systems Thinking
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • martin.reynolds

Professional biography

Martin joined the Open University in December 2000 and is Qualifications Lead for the postgraduate programme in Systems Thinking in Practice (STiP).

Martin received his BSc (Hons) in Liberal Studies in Science at the University of Manchester in 1978. He gained his PhD in International Development at the Institute for International Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester in 1998. In the interim he taught Science at senior secondary schools in London and in Botswana. In 1999 he worked with Gerald Midgley on a postdoctoral research project at Hull University exploring the use of systems thinking for environmental management.

 

Research interests

Martin is a co-founding member of, and lead academic liaison for, the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) Group at the Open University. Research and scholarship activities are primarily focused on developing and applying ideas from the tradition of critical systems thinking (CST) and more generic systems thinking in practice (STiP)  to evaluation, environmental management, organisational management, health practice, and international development. Current activities include funded research with colleagues developing a systems thinking in practice competency framework for professional recognition, and an alternative pedagogy for systems thinking in practice at the workplace.  Other current research interests associated with sustainable development goals, health practice, conservation and evaluation, and social enterprise evaluations, are listed under international collaborations and external impacts. 

Past research activities include involvement with US AID support for collaboration with partners in southern Africa to explore cooperative wetland management in Limpopo Basin; European funding to support  Parliamentary involvement with developmental evaluation; ESRC – supported work in using critical systems heuristics for community wetland management in Guyana; EPSRC - supported work on critical systems thinking for energy security; and EU funding for supporting Social Learning in Water Management (SLIM).  

Teaching interests

Martin was production team chair and continues to be module team Chair of TU811 Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change. He was production team chair and module team Chair of TD866 Environmental Responsibility: ethics, policy and action, and is module team member and contributing author for BB847 Management Beyond the Mainstream (part of th OU MBA programme) and T891 Making Environmental Decisions (which replaced T863 Environmental Decision Making: A systems approach). He was previously Chair for T306 Managing Complexity: A systems approach, and module team member and author for TU872 Institutional Development: conflicts, values and meanings.

Impact and engagement

Martin promotes continual professional development with Systems thinking and evaluation - designing and facilitating a series of workshops through auspices of American Evaluation Association and European Evaluation Society, including work with GIZ (in Germany) SDC (in Switzerland) and SLeVA (in Sri Lanka) and UKES (in UK).

Martin also provides regular workshop support in systems thinking for policy impact for the PhD programme at the University of Zurich, Plant Sciences.

External collaborations

Martin is actively involved with UN initiatives in developing systems for supporting the implementation of SDGs (sustainable development goals), and is collaborating with colleagues from Social Enterprise Impact Hubs in developing learning systems for effective monitoring and evaluation.  He is also working with colleagues from Health Systems Global (HSG) and Save the Children in wrting guidance on systems thinking for health practice. Martin is an Advisory Group member for two international initiatives: first, the Systems Thinking Africa (STA) group led by Samuel Ngenga for systems thinking support in sub-Saharan Africa; second, the UN-Women Evaluation initiative, resulting in the 2016 production of a field handbook currently entitled ‘Inclusive Systemic Evaluation (ISE) for GEMs (gender, environments, and marginalized groups).  Martin is also an active and founding member of the Silwood Group (SG) - a transdisciplinary international grouping of experts in the fields of conservation biology, evaluation, and systems thinking.  The aim of the group is to progress purposeful systems design of innovative evaluation for conservation interventions (coordinated by the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College London). 

Aside from international links associated with research and scholarship activities (see 'impact and engagement' and 'external collaborations'), Martin is a member of the European Evaluation Society and the International Society for Systems Science.

Publications

Towards Systemic Evaluation (2016-09-19)
Reynolds, Martin; Gates, Emily; Hummelbrunner, Richard; Marra, Mita and Williams, Bob
Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 33(5) (pp. 662-673)
(Breaking) The iron triangle of evaluation (2015-01)
Reynolds, Martin
IDS Bulletin, 46(1) (pp. 71-86)
Equity-focused developmental evaluation using critical systems thinking (2014-01)
Reynolds, M.
Evaluation – The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 20(1) (pp. 75-95)
Systemic failure in macroeconomic modelling (2014)
Reynolds, Martin
International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 5(4) (pp. 311-328)
Triple-loop learning and conversing with reality (2014)
Reynolds, Martin
Kybernetes, 43(9/10) (pp. 1381-1391)
Managing systemic risk using systems thinking in practice (2013)
Reynolds, Martin
AWERProcedia Advances in Applied Sciences, 1 (pp. 217-224)
Two cultures? Working with moral dilemmas in environmental science (2013)
Reynolds, Martin and Blackmore, Chris
AWERProcedia Advances in Applied Sciences, 1 (pp. 233-240)
Response to paper 'Systems Thinking' by D. Cabrera et al.: Systems thinking from a critical systems perspective (2008-08)
Reynolds, Martin
Journal of Evaluation and Program Planning, 31(3) (pp. 323-325)
Book Review: Wisdom for a livable planet (2008-04)
Reynolds, Martin
Environmental Education Research, 14(2) (pp. 199-203)
Reframing expert support for development management (2008)
Reynolds, Martin
Journal of International Development, 20(6) (pp. 768-782)
Getting a grip: Critical systems for corporate responsibility (2008)
Reynolds, Martin
Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25(3) (pp. 383-395)
Churchman and Maturana: Enriching the Notion of Self-Organization for Social Design (2005-12)
Reynolds, Martin
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 17(6) (pp. 539-556)
Systems/operational research and sustainable development: Towards a new agenda (2004-02)
Midgley, Gerald and Reynolds, Martin
Sustainable Development, 12(1) (pp. 56-64)
Book review: “Transforming the dream: ecologism and the shaping of an alternative American vision” and “Green states and social movements: environmentalism in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway” (2004)
Reynolds, Martin
Environmental Education Research, 10(4) (pp. 582-587)
Book Review: Understanding business systems in developing countries (2003-04)
Reynolds, Martin
Journal of Development Studies, 39(4) (pp. 167-168)
In Defence of knowledge constitutive interests: A comment on 'What is this thing called CST?' (Midgely, 1996) (2002-10)
Reynolds, M.
Journal of the Operational Research Society, 53(10) (pp. 1162-1165)
Book Review: Earth, Air, Fire, Water: Humanistic Studies of the Environment (2002)
Reynolds, Martin
Environmental Education Research, 8(2) (pp. 226-228)
Rapid institutional appraisal (2001-12)
Armson, R.; Ison, R.L.; Short, L.; Ramage, M. and Reynolds, M.
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14(6) (pp. 763-777)
'Unfolding' natural resource-use information systems: fieldwork in Botswana (1998-04)
Reynolds, Martin
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 11(2) (pp. 127-152)
Towards Praxis in Systems Thinking (2016)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Frank, Moti; Shaked, Haim and Koral-Kordova , Sigal eds. Systems Thinking: Foundation, Uses and Challenges (pp. 3-33)
ISBN : 978-1-63485-223-4 | Publisher : Nova Science Publishers | Published : New York
Embedding sustainability through systems thinking in practice: some experiences from the Open University (2015-04)
Blackmore, Chris; Reynolds, Martin; Ison, Raymond and Lane, Andrew
In: Wyness, Lynne ed. Education for Sustainable Development Pedagogy: Criticality, Creativity, and Collaboration. PedRIO occasional papers (8) (pp. 32-35)
Publisher : Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) | Published : Plymouth University
Communicating about systems and complexity:from contingency to praxis (2015-02)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Patton, Michael Quinn ed. Gedenkschrift to honor Brenda Zimmerman's contributions to understanding complexity and social innovation (pp. 32-36)
Publisher : Social Innovation Generation de L’innovation sociale | Published : Canada
Thinking differently about sustainability: experiences from the UK Open University (2014)
Blackmore, Chris; Ison, Raymond and Reynolds, Martin
In: Filho, Walter Leal; Azeiteiro , Ulisses; Alves , Fátima and Caeiro, Sandra eds. Integrating Sustainability Thinking in Science and Engineering Curricula. World Sustainability Series (pp. 613-630)
ISBN : 978-3-319-09473-1 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham
Systems thinking and Equity-focused evaluations (2012-03)
Reynolds, Martin and Williams, Bob
In: Segone , Marco and Bamberger, Michael eds. Evaluation for equitable development results (pp. 115-141)
Publisher : UNICEF | Published : New York
Critical thinking and systems thinking: towards a critical literacy for systems thinking in practice (2011-12)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Horvath , Christopher P. and Forte, James M. eds. Critical Thinking (pp. 37-68)
ISBN : 9781613244197 | Publisher : Nova Science Publishers | Published : New York, USA
Bells that still can ring: systems thinking in practice (2011-10)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Tait, Andrew and Richardson, Kurt eds. Moving Forward with Complexity: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Complex Systems Thinking and Real World Applications (pp. 327-349)
ISBN : 9780984216598 | Publisher : Emergent Publications | Published : Litchfield Park, AZ
Introducing systems approaches (2010)
Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue
In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide (pp. 1-23)
ISBN : 9781848828087 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London
Epilogue: systems approaches and systems practice (2010)
Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue
In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide (pp. 293-306)
ISBN : 9781848828087 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London
Critical systems heuristics (2010)
Ulrich, Werner and Reynolds, Martin
In: Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide (pp. 243-292)
ISBN : 978-1-84882-808-7 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London
Introduction to environmental responsibility (2009-03)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Reynolds, Martin; Blackmore, Chris and Smith, Mark J. eds. The Environmental Responsibility Reader (pp. 1-6)
ISBN : 9781848133181 | Publisher : Zed Books and The Open University | Published : London
Environmental ethics (2009)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Reynolds, Martin; Blackmore, Christine and Smith, Mark J. eds. The Environmental Responsibility Reader (pp. 40-51)
ISBN : 978 1 84813 317 4 | Publisher : Zed Books and The Open University | Published : London
Environmental ethics and development (2009)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Wilson, Gordon; Furniss, Pamela and Kimbowa, Richard eds. Environment, Development, and Sustainability: Perspectives and cases from around the world (pp. 159-168)
ISBN : 9780199560646 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK
Epilogue (2009)
Reynolds, Martin; Blackmore, Chris and Smith, Mark
In: Reynolds, Martin; Blackmore, Christine and Smith, Mark eds. The Environmental Responsibility Reader (pp. 341-347)
ISBN : 978 1 84813 317 4 | Publisher : Zed Books and The Open University
Evaluation based on critical systems heuristics (2007)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Williams, B. and Imam, I. eds. Using Systems Concepts in Evaluation: An Expert Anthology (pp. 101-122)
ISBN : 978 0 918528 22 3 | Publisher : EdgePress | Published : Point Reyes CA, USA
Community and Environmental OR: Towards a New Agenda (2004)
Midgley, Gerald and Reynolds, Martin
In: Midgley, Gerald and Ochoa-Arias, Alejandro eds. Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development. Contemporary Systems Thinking (pp. 297-316)
ISBN : 306483351 | Publisher : Kluwer | Published : New York, USA
Co-guarantor attributes: a systemic approach to evaluating expert support (2001)
Reynolds, Martin
In: Remenyi, D. and Brown, A. eds. Eighth European Conference on Information Technology Evaluation Conference proceedings, Oriel College, Oxford, UK 17-18 September 2001 (pp. 561-571)
ISBN : 9780954048808 | Publisher : MCIL Press | Published : Reading, UK
Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide (2010)
Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue
Reynolds, Martin and Holwell, Sue eds.
ISBN : 9781848828087 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London
The Environmental Responsibility Reader (2009-02)
Reynolds, Martin; Blackmore, Chris and Smith, Mark J. eds.
ISBN : 978 1 84813 317 4 | Publisher : Zed Books and The Open University | Published : London, UK
Evaluation as public work: an ethos for professional evaluation praxis (2017)
Reynolds, Martin and Schwandt, Thomas
In : UK Evaluation Society Annual Conference: The Use and Usability of Evaluation: demonstrating and improving the usefulness of evaluation (10-11 May 2017, London)
Systemic crises? Why strategic thinking needs critical systems practice (2012-07-06)
Reynolds, Martin
In : 8th HSSS National and International Conference: Systems Approach to Strategic Management (5-7 July 2012, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Equity-focused developmental evaluation using critical systems thinking (2012)
Reynolds, Martin
In : 10th European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference: Evaluation in the networked society: new concepts, new challenges, new solutions (3-5 October 2012, Helsinki)
Heuristic for teaching systems thinking (2011)
Reynolds, Martin
In : UKSS 15th International Conference: The Future of Systems Learning (1-2 September 2011, Oxford, UK)
Evaluation and stakeholding development (2010-10)
Reynolds, Martin
In : The 9th European Evaluation Society International Conference: Subject strand: Tools and Methodologies (6-8 Oct 2010, Prague, Czech Republic)
Ecological conversations and systems thinking (2010-09)
Reynolds, Martin
In : RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: Confronting the Challenges of the Post-Crisis Global Economy and Environment (1-3 Sep 2010, London, UK)
Towards reframing professional expert support (2007-09-18)
Reynolds, Martin
In : Development Studies Association Annual Conference 2007: Connecting Science, Society and Development (18-20 Sept 2007, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK)
Framing purposeful evaluation through critical systems thinking (2007-08)
Reynolds, Martin
In : Rural Development for the XXIInd Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology (20-24 Aug 2007, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
ECOSENSUS: developing collaborative learning systems for stakeholding development in environmental planning (2007-05-02)
Reynolds, Martin; Berardi, Andrea; Bachler, Michelle; Buckingham Shum, Simon; Bernard, Calvin; Mistry, Jay and Ulrich, Werner
In : OU Conference Curriculum, Teaching & Student Support Conference, The Open University (2 May 2007, Milton Keynes, UK)
The ECOSENSUS Project: Co-Evolving Tools, Practices and Open Content for Participatory Natural Resource Management (2006-06)
Berardi, Andrea; Bachler, Michelle; Bernard, Calvin; Buckingham Shum, Simon; Ganapathy, Savitha; Mistry, Jayalaxshmi; Reynolds, Martin and Ulrich, Werner
In : Second International Conference on e-Social Science (28-30 June 2006, Manchester, UK)
Social and Ecological Responsibility: A Critical Systemic Perspective (2003-07)
Reynolds, Martin
In : Critical Management Studies Conference 'Critique and Inclusively: Opening the Agenda'; in the stream OR/Systems Thinking for Social Improvement (7-9 July 2003, Lancaster University, UK)
Developing professional recognition of systems thinking in practice: an interim report (2017-06)
Shah, Rupesh and Reynolds, Martin
The Open University
Framing systems thinking in practice competencies: report on systems thinking in practice competencies workshop 10 June 2017 (2017)
Reynolds, Martin; Shah, Rupesh and van Ameijde, Jitse
The Open University
Enhancing Systems Thinking in Practice at the Workplace: eSTEeM final report (2016-08)
Reynolds, Martin; Shah, Rupesh; Wedlock, Elaine; Ison, Ray and Blackmore, Christine
The OU Centre for STEM Pedagogy
Rigour (-mortis) in evaluation (2015-06)
Reynolds, Martin
European Evaluation Society
Evaluating complex realities (2014-03)
Reynolds, Martin
European Evaluation Society
Systems thinking, learning and values in evaluation (2013-06)
Hummelbrunner , Richard and Reynolds, Martin
European Evaluation Society
Complexity, systems thinking and evaluation - an emerging relationship? (2012-12)
Reynolds, Martin; Forss, Kim; Hummelbrunner, Richard; Marra, Mita and Perrin, Burt
European Evaluation Society

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