Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Health systems thinking : the need for a more critical approach

Sambo, Luis Gomes


Luis Gomes Sambo


Jennifer, 1953 Wilby


The present study intends to bring more insights and added value to health systems thinking using systems ideas. It inquires about the current state of health systems thinking, analyses different strengths of alternative systems approaches, and suggests what systems thinking can offer in order to improve the current understanding and the technical performance of health systems. It does not intend to develop a blue print model but rather a more critical approach to deal with some of the intractable problems encountered in current health sector reforms. The thesis is not expected to serve public health practitioners only but also systems thinking theorists, particularly those interested in social systems and pluralism in management sciences. Specifically, this thesis aims at analysing the current state of Health systems thinking; explores what other systems approaches can offer to enlighten health systems; and yields knowledge on critical health systems thinking. To achieve these aims the researcher articulated the study on the basis of the definition of health by the World Health Organisation, the interconnectedness among key health determinants and the global health challenges with particular emphasis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Critical systems thinking is the theoretical framework in which knowledge about systems is expressed and the current state of Health systems thinking is the area of concern in relation to which the researcher has aspirations. The methodology consists in two major steps conducting thought experiments in the context of three scenarios from the researcher's own experience. The first step uses Jackson's four major systems approaches and associated methodologies and yields learning about the current state of health systems thinking; and the second step, using critical systems practice in mode 2, generates a more critical approach to health systems thinking.


Sambo, L. G. (2009). Health systems thinking : the need for a more critical approach. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Apr 1, 2009


Thesis (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2009 Sambo, Luis Gomes. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations