System Dynamics Modeling for Intellectual Disability Services: A Case Study

Meri Duryan*, Dragan Nikolik, Godefridus van Merode, Leopold Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Organizations providing services to persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) are complex because of many interacting stakeholders with often different and competing interests. The combination of increased consumer demand and diminished resources makes organizational planning a challenge for the managers of such organizations. Such challenges are confounded by significant demands for the optimization of resources and the goal to reduce expenses and to more effectively and efficiently use existing resources while at the same time providing high quality services. The authors explore the possibilities of using system dynamics modelling in organizational decision-making processes related to resource allocations. System dynamics suggests the application of generic systems archetypes as a first step in interpreting complex situations in an organization. The authors illustrate the application of this method via a case study in one provider organization in the Netherlands. The authors contend that such a modeling approach can be used by the management of similar organizations serving people with ID as a tool to support decision making that can result in optimal resource allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • allocation of resources
  • intellectual disabilities
  • system dynamics modeling
  • systems thinking
  • waiting lists

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