Markus Schwaninger

Markus Schwaninger

Markus Schwaninger

Prof. em. Dr.

Professor em.

Main Focuses

Management of complex dynamic systems

System Dynamics – modeling and simulation

Organisational Cybernetics

Fields of research

Integrative Management

Organization Design

Transformation and learning of organizations

Organisational intelligence

Model-based management


Markus Schwaninger is a Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Management and Strategy at the University of St. Gallen. He studied at the universities of Salzburg, St. Gallen and Innsbruck (Dr.soc.oec. degree). Habilitation at the University of St. Gallen, then titular professor for management theory. Guest professorships in Brazil (Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo) and Colombia (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá). Research stays in the USA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Columbia University, New York), Canada (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) and Spain (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas).

Professional Career

Prior to his academic career, he worked in industry and public administration (Austria, Switzerland, Bermuda, Brazil) and in consulting (Management Zentrum St. Gallen). Consulting and training mandates worldwide in a wide range of organisations, e.g. healthcare, industry, public sector, development organisations. At the University of St. Gallen, long-time management of the integration seminars and the doctoral program of the Business Administration Department (later School of Management). Management and collaboration in transdisciplinary, mostly international research projects. Member of the Advisory Board, World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC). Fellow of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS). Long-standing Managing Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Involvement in various advisory boards (e.g., former member and chair of the advisory board of the student initiative OIKOS) and editorial boards.

Additional Information

Orientation of roughly 90 dissertations as a supervisor or co-supervisor. At the Institute of Management and Strategy at the University of St. Gallen, he founded the System Dynamics Group, a research unit for modeling and simulation. Internationally, he is actively involved in expert discussions in his research areas. This as a co-examiner and examiner for dissertations at universities in Switzerland and abroad, through activities as a juror (for research funds) and reviewer (for numerous journals) as well as through the design of workshops and "streams", keynote speeches and presentations at many conferences. In total, over 200 publications. Among his most cited publications are

  • Schwaninger M & Schoenenberger L (2022) Cybernetic Crisis Management in a Federal System – Insights from the Covid Pandemic. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 39:3–20.
  • Tuckermann H & Schwaninger M (eds.) (2022) Wege aus der COVID-19-Krise. Anamnese, Diagnose und Design. Bern: Haupt. ISBN: 978-3-258-08271-4
  • Schwaninger M & Groesser S (2020) System Dynamics Modeling: Validation for Quality Assurance In: Dangerfield B (ed.) System Dynamics.Theory and Applications. A Volume in the Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science. Second Edition. Springer, New York, pp. 119-138.
  • Schwaninger M (2020) System Dynamics in the Evolution of the Systems Approach. In: Dangerfield B (ed.) System Dynamics. Theory and Applications. A Volume in the Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Sciece. Second Edition. Springer, New York, pp. 21-39
  • Schwaninger M (2019) Cybersystemic education: enabling society for a better future. Kybernetes 48(7): 1376-1397.
  • Schwaninger M (2018) Systemic Design for Sustainability. Sustainability Science, Volume 13(5): 1225-1234.
  • Schwaninger M (2016) A test of the Viable System Model: theoretical claim vs. empirical evidence. Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal.
  • Schwaninger M (2015) Model-based Management: A cybernetic concept. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 32: 564–578.
  • Schwaninger M (2012) Making change happen: recollections of a systems professional. Kybernetes 41(3/4): 348 – 367.
  • Schwaninger M (2009) Intelligent organizations - powerful models for systemic management, 2nd edition. Berlin: Springer, 2009 (1st edition 2006).
  • Schwaninger M & Groesser S (2008) System Dynamics as model-based theory-building. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 25 (4): 447-465.