Systems Thinking Approach to Sustainable Performance in RAMSAR Sites
This article explores and validates the integrated use of the viable system model (VSM) and the partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) approach to assess the sustainable management of RAMSAR sites carrying out economic activities. This work adopts a systems-thinking approach integrating systemic methodologies in three phases: (1) the VSM was first used to develop a conceptual model of the organisational problem; (2) PLS-PM was used to propose a construct to outline a solution, as well as
... lution, as well as to statistically validate the relationships proposed in the conceptual model; finally, (3) through the VSM, the relationships between actors were rethought in order to promote sustainable performance. The results obtained suggest that the joint use of VSM and PLS-PM is an effective approach that aids in the identification of relational and structural pathologies affecting the observed RAMSAR systems. It also proved useful to suggest that relationships can lead to the sustainable performance of the sites under study. It should be noted that the framework of systemic tools is constrained in its application to the organisational domain: assessing two RAMSAR areas in Mexico. Methodologically, this is the first application of the integrated use of VSM and PLS-PM to analyse the management and viability/sustainability of RAMSAR areas from an organisational perspective, opening a new avenue for the analysis and optimisation of management of such areas. This study provides tools to support actors and academics related to RAMSAR sites and opens up a discussion on how to rethink the organisational interactions in order to improve RAMSAR sites' adaptive capabilities.