Abstract for: Does a Better Understanding of Accumulation Indeed Predict A Higher Performance in Stock and Flow Management?

The stock and flow management (SFM) problem is of high relevance for a broad range of decision makers in society, business and personal affairs. Although in some areas highly sophisticated models and control concepts have been developed, the phenomena of excess stock and shortages are omnipresent. One recent explanation for these observations is offered by a stream of research, which finds evidence for widespread and persistent deficits in stock-flow thinking (SFT) capabilities even among well-educated adults. Building on this explanation, an attempt is made to test the hypothesis, that the better people understand accumulation, the higher will be their performance in SFM tasks. The results of a small sample pilot study indicate that the hypothesis of a one-dimensional cause-and-effect relationship between SFT and SFM performance has to be rejected. Therefore, Ackerman’s PPIK theory is introduced and used to formulate an elaborate causal model, which could be tested in future research.