Abstract for: Extracting Variables and Causal Links from Interview Data

This paper presents an approach to extract factors and causal influences from interview data with stakeholders within the Australian automotive recycling system during the model conceptualisation stage of System Dynamics. We first discuss problem articulation in the context of SD. Then provide an overview of how stakeholder interviews were conducted along with how interview data and field notes were processed and analysed. Next, we present the approach which was used to identify the variables and causal links from interview data resulting in a Causal Loop Diagram and a first cut Stock and Flow Diagram. A running example, the automotive recyclers’ Workforce dynamics, is also provided. Finally, the difficulties faced and lessons learnt from running the interviews to handling interview data are discussed. The main benefit of the approach presented in this paper is to aid SD practitioners in model conceptualisation when relying on interview data.