Professor David C Lane

Professor of Business Informatics

Professor David C Lane

Professor David C Lane

Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
By area: Policy Analysis, System Dynamics, Strategic Modelling, Operational Research, Management Science, Systems Thinking, Complex Systems, Problem Structuring Methods, Systems Science.
Whiteknights campus
+44 (0) 118 378 4285


David C Lane is Professor of Business Informatics at Henley Business School. He specialises in strategic analysis using system dynamics and systems thinking. He works interactively with groups of senior managers to help them express their ideas in the form of a system dynamics-based simulation model. The model and the facilitated process help managers to think through the long-term policies of their organisation.

His theoretical work concerns the contribution that system dynamics can make to the formalisation of certain concepts arising in social theory. His practical interests include: healthcare management; the creation of marketing strategies for cinema films, child protection and the dynamics of project management.

David Lane has mathematics degrees from Bristol and Oxford Universities and a Doctorate in mathematical modelling also from Oxford. He was a consultant in Shell International and a marketing manager in Shell UK. Before joining Henley he was a faculty member at City University Business School and then London School of Economics and Political Science. He has consulting and executive education experience in a wide range of commercial and public sector/government organisations. He is a member of the Home Office Science Advisory Council (HOSAC) in which role he provides independent advice on the use of operational research and systems thinking approaches with the aim of improving the quality of the science and research that is used to inform strategic delivery and policy development.

In 2005 David Lane received an LSE award for outstanding performance and innovation in teaching and in 2008 he received a student-nominated LSE Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award.

In 2004 he was elected Fellow of the Operational Research Society for "outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of OR", and in 2007 was awarded the System Dynamics Society's Jay Wright Forrester Award "for the best contribution to the field of system dynamics in the preceding five years". In 2010 he was appointed as an Advisor to the Munro Review of Child Protection for the Department for Education. In 2011 David Lane served as President of the System Dynamics Society. In 2014 he received the Operational Research Society’s President’s Medal for the application of systems modelling approaches in the child protection sector.

Programme Delivery

  • Module Convenor for Architecture Leadership(MSc course)
  • Module Convenor for Strategic Information Management (MBA course)
  • Module Convenor for Managing Complexity Using Systems Thinking and Strategic Modelling (MSc Course)



Hewinson, R.G., D.C. Lane, M.P.E. Slack & W.W. Nichols. 1986 The Permeability of the Outer Membrane of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Varies with the Concentration of a Test Substrate, Cephalosporin C. Journal of General Microbiology, 132: 27-33.

Lane, D.C., J.D. Murray and V.S. Manoranjan 1987 Analysis of Wave Phenomena in a Morphogenetic Mechanochemical Model and an Application to Post-fertilization Waves on Eggs. IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Medicine and Biology 4: 309-331.

Morecroft, J.D.W., D.C. Lane and P.S. Viita. 1991. Modeling Growth Strategy in a Biotechnology Startup Firm. System Dynamics Review 7(2), 93-116.

Lane, D.C. 1992. Modelling As Learning: A consultancy methodology for enhancing learning in management teams. European Journal of Operational Research 59(1), 64-84.

Lane, D.C. 1993. The Road Not Taken: Observing a process of issue selection and model conceptualization. System Dynamics Review 9(3), 239-264.

Lane, D.C. 1993. A Comment On Prolegomena to OR Modelling of the Global Environment-development Problem. Journal of the Operational Research Society 44(12): 1257-1258.

Lane, D.C. 1994. With A Little Help From Our Friends: How system dynamics and 'soft' OR can learn from each other. System Dynamics Review 10(2-3), 101-134.

Lane, D.C. 1994. System Dynamics Practice: A comment on 'a case study in community care using systems thinking'. Journal of the Operational Research Society 45(3): 361-363.

Lane, D.C. 1995. On A Resurgence Of Management Simulations And Games. Journal of the Operational Research Society 46(5), 604-625.

Lane, D.C. 1995. Trying To Think Systematically About 'Systems Thinking'. Journal of the Operational Research Society 46(9): 1158-1162.

Lane, D.C. and M.C. Jackson. 1995. Only Connect! An annotated bibliography reflecting the breadth and diversity of systems thinking. Systems Research 12(3), 217-228.

Lane, D.C. and C. Smart. 1996. Reinterpreting 'Generic Structure': Evolution, application and limitations of a concept. System Dynamics Review 12(2), 87-120.

Lane, D. C. 1997. From Discussion to Dialogue: A Case Study Using an Interactive System Dynamics Modelling Approach. Journal of Decision Systems 6(3): 251-281

Lane, D.C. 1997. Invited Review and Reappraisal: 'Industrial Dynamics' by Jay W. Forrester. Journal of the Operational Research Society 48(10): 1037-1042.

Lane, D.C. 1997. Invited Reviews on System Dynamics. Journal of the Operational Research Society 48(12): 1254-1257.

Lane, D.C. and J.V. Rosenhead. 1998. Emergency - But No Accident - A system dynamics study of casualty waiting times in the British NHS. EuroHealth 4(1): 34-36.

Lane, D.C. 1998. Can We Have Confidence In Generic Structures? Journal of the Operational Research Society 49(9), 936-947.

Lane, D.C. and R. Oliva. 1998. The Greater Whole: Towards a synthesis of system dynamics and soft systems methodology. European Journal of Operational Research 107(1): 214-235.

Lane, D.C., C. Monefeldt and J.V. Rosenhead. 1998. Emergency - But No Accident - A system dynamics study of an accident and emergency department. OR Insight 11(4): 2-10.

Lane, D.C. 1999. Friendly Amendment: A commentary on Doyle and Ford's proposed re-definition of 'mental model'. System Dynamics Review 15(2): 185-194

Lane, D.C. 1999. Social Theory And System Dynamics Practice. European Journal of Operational Research 113(3), 501-527.

Lane, D.C. 2000. Should System Dynamics Be Described As A 'Hard' Or 'Deterministic' Systems Approach? Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 17(1): 3-22

Lane, D.C., C. Monefeldt and J.V. Rosenhead. 2000. Looking In The Wrong Place For Healthcare Improvements: A system dynamics study of an A&E department. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 51(5): 518-531.

Lane, D.C. 2000. Diagramming Conventions in System Dynamics. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 51(2): 241-245.

Lane, D.C. 2001. Rerum cognoscere causas: Part I - How do the ideas of system dynamics relate to traditional social theories and the voluntarism/determinism debate? System Dynamics Review 17(2): 97-118.

Lane, D.C. 2001. Rerum cognoscere causas: Part II - Opportunities generated by the agency/structure debate and suggestions for clarifying the social theoretic position of system dynamics. System Dynamics Review 17(4): 293-309.

Lane, D.C., C. Monefeldt, E. Husemann. 2003. Client Involvement in Simulation Model Building: Hints and insights from a case study in a London Hospital. Health Care Management Science, 6(2): 105-116.

Lane, D.C. 2004. Irrational Agents or Accomplished Social Actors? Systems Research and Behavioral Science 21(4): 433-438.

Lane D.C. 2006. IFORS' Operational Research Hall of Fame - Jay Wright Forrester. International Transactions in Operational Research (the journal of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies) 13(5): 483-492.

Lane, D.C. 2006. It Works In Practice But Does It Work In Theory? Comment on the paper by Vriens and Achterbergh. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 23(4): 565-570.

Lane, D.C. 2007. The Power of the Bond Between Cause and Effect. System Dynamics Review 23(2-3): 95-118.

Lane, D. C. and Schwaninger, M. (2008) Theory building with system dynamics: topic and research contributions. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25 (4). pp. 439-445. ISSN 1099-1743 doi: 10.1002/sres.912

Lane, D.C. and E. Husemann. 2008. System Dynamics Mapping of Acute Patient Flows. Journal of the Operational Research Society (Special issue on Government OR) 59(2): 213-224.

Lane, D.C. 2008. The Emergence and Use of Diagramming in System Dynamics: A critical account. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 25(1):3-23.

Lane, D.C. and E. Husemann. 2008. Steering without Circe: Attending to reinforcing loops in social systems. System Dynamics Review 24(1): 37-61.

Lane, D.C. 2008. Formal Theory Building for the Avalanche Game: Explaining counter-intuitive behaviour of a complex system using geometrical and human behavioural/physiological effects. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 25(4): 521-542.

Lane, D.C. 2010. Participative Modelling and Big Issues: Defining features of system dynamics? Systems Research and Behavioral Science 27(4): 461-465.

Lane, D., Bianchi, C. and Bivona, E. (2010)Public sector applications of the system dynamics approach. Systems Research & Behavioral Science, 27 (4). pp. 355-360. ISSN 1099-1743

Lane, D.C. 2010. High Leverage Interventions: Three cases of defensive action and their lessons for OR/MS today. Operations Research 58(6): 1535-1547.

Bechberger, E., D. C. Lane, T. McBride, A. Morton, D. Quintas and C. H. Wong. 2011 . The National Audit Office uses OR to assess the Value for Money of public services. Interfaces, 41(4): 365-374.

Lane, D.C. 2012. What Is A 'Policy Insight'? Systems Research and Behavioral Science 29(6): 590-595.

Lane, D.C., J. Strohhecker and A. Größler. 2012. A Commonwealth of Learning: In celebration of the workshop's guest of honour Peter Milling. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 29(6): 674-676.

Lane, D. C., Ö. Pala and Y. Barlas. 2015. Editorial - Health, Demographic Change, and Well-being: The European Union's Horizon 2020 Program and System dynamics. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 32(4): 407-413.

Lane, D. C. 2015. Validity is a Matter of Confidence - but not just in System Dynamics. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 32(4): 450-458.

Lane DC, Munro E and Husemann E. 2016. Blending systems thinking approaches for organisational analysis: reviewing child protection in England. European Journal of Operational Research 251: 613–623. Open Access article available from:

Lane DC. 2016. What We Talk About When We Talk About 'Systems Thinking'. Journal of the Operational Research Society 67: 527-528. 

Lane DC, Munro E and Husemann E. 2016. The Child Protection Jigsaw. Impact Spring: 42-45.

Lane, D. C. (2016). 'Till the muddle in my mind have cleared awa': Can we help shape policy using systems modelling? Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 33, 633-650.

Lane, D. C. (2017). 'Behavioural System Dynamics': A very tentative and slightly sceptical map of the territory. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 34, 414-423.

Lane, D. C. & Sterman, J. D. (2017 forthcoming). Jay Wright Forrester. National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes, 22

Lane, D. C. & Sterman, J. D. (to appear). A Model Simulator: The Lives of Jay W Forrester. Journal of Simulation. Lane, 

D. C. & Kopainsky, B. (2017). Editorial - Natural Resource Management: Contributions of System Dynamics to Research, Policy and Implementation. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 34, 378-385.

Other Writings and Reports:

Lane, D.C. 1990. Modelling as Learning ('Strategic Planning in Shell' Series, no. 9, May, PL 90 RO3). Shell International: London.

Morecroft, J.D.W., D.C. Lane and P.S. Viita. 1990.Modeling Growth Strategy in a Biotechnology Startup Firm ('Strategic Planning in Shell' Series, no. 11, August, PL 90 RO9). Shell International: London.

Lane, D.C. 1992. Fawlty Showers. OR Newsletter August: 24-25.

Lane, D.C. 1993. Scope of OR Tools. OR Newsletter March: 29-30.

Reinhold, A. and D.C. Lane. 1994. Motley force of softists scores notable triumph. OR Newsletter July: 12-13.

Lane, D.C. 1997. Sensation At The Royal Academy. OR Newsletter November: 10-11.

Lane, D.C. 1999. System Dynamics Modelling of Patient Flows Through Acute Hospitals. Report for the NHS Executive.

Lane, D.C. 2000. Book Review: 'Computer Modelling of Social Processes', edited by W.B.G. Liebrand, A. Nowak and R. Hegselmann. British Journal of Sociology 51(2): 393.

Various, including Lane, D.C. 2004. Scenari ed Apprendimento Strategico: Un approccio sistemico. Quaderni di Management 7:9-28.

Brailsford, S and D.C. Lane. 2004. From The Oceans, From The Stars: The SD+ Stream at OR46. OR Newsletter October.

Lane, D.C. 2008. LSE Meeting Marks 50th Anniversary of System Dynamics Modelling. Inside O.R., April: 10.

Sterman, J.D. & Lane, D.C. 2008. Jay Wright Forrester, Production and Operations Management 17(4): i-ii.

Lane, D.C. 2011. The Ship And The Voyage. System Dynamics Newsletter 24(3).

Lane, D.C. 2014. Which Planet Is Your Salad From? Inside OR September.

Lane, D.C. 2014. Ruminations On An Unlucky Spider Inside OR October.

Lane, D.C. 2015. Pr (My Thunderbird Is Go) = 0.2 Inside OR December.

Book Chapters:

Lane, D.C. 1994. Modelling As Learning: A consultancy methodology for enhancing learning in management teams. In Modelling for Learning Organizations eds. J.D.W. Morecroft and J.D. Sterman, pp. 85-117. Portland, OR: Productivity Press.

Lane, D.C. and J.V. Rosenhead. 1994. Only Connect! Part I: An annotated selection from the literature on the problem structuring methods of 'soft' operational research. In Proceedings of the 1994 International System Dynamics Conference: Problem-solving methodologies eds. E. Wolstenholme and C. Monaghan, pp. 147-157. Stirling, Scotland: University of Scotland.

Lane, D.C. 1995. The Folding Star: A comparative reframing and extension of validity concepts in system dynamics. In Proceedings of the 1995 International System Dynamics Conference: Volume I -Plenary Program eds. T. Shimada and K. Saeed, pp. 111-130. Tokyo: Gakushuin University and the System Dynamics Society.

Lane, D.C. 1997. Diary Of An Oil Market Model: How a system dynamics modelling process was used with managers to resolve conflict and to generate insight. In Systems Modelling for Energy Policy eds. D.W. Bunn and E.R. Larsen, pp. 205-240. Chichester: Wiley.

Lane, D.C. 1998. Jay Wright Forrester (1918-). In The IEBM Handbook of Management Thinking ed. M. Warner, pp. 215-219. London: International Thomson Business Press.

Lane, D.C. and E. Husemann. 2002. Steering Away From Scylla, Falling Into Charybdis: The importance of recognising, simulating and challenging reinforcing loops in social systems. In Entscheiden in komplexen Systemen ed. P.M. Milling, Duncker & Humblot: Berlin; pp. 27-68.

Lane, D.C. and E. Husemann. 2004. Movie Marketing Strategy Formation with System Dynamics: Towards a multidisciplinary adoption/diffusion theory of cinema-going. In Komplexität und Dynamikals Herausforderung für das Management ed. F. Maier, Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag: Wiesbaden; pp. 179-222.

Lane, D.C. 2007. Jay Wright Forrester - The Creator of System Dynamics. In Keynote Papers: Young OR 15 Bath 2007 ed. C. Vasilakis, Operational Research Society: Birmingham; pp. 29-38.

Lane, D.C. and E. Husemann. 2009. What Does The Arrow Mean? Observations on system dynamics mapping and the potential for experimentation with other methods. In Strategisches und operatives Produktionsmanagement - Empirie und Simulation eds. J. Strohhecker and A. Größler, Gabler: Wiesbaden; pp. 327-350.

Lane, D.C. 2009. A Young OR Guide to Giving Bad Presentations: N-rules for assuring failure. In Keynote Papers: Young OR 16 Conference, 24-26 March 2009, University of Warwick ed. A. Tako, Operational Research Society: Birmingham; pp. 64-77.

Lane, D.C. and J.D. Sterman. 2011. Jay Wright Forrester. In Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators eds. A.A. Assad and S.I. Gass, Springer: New York; pp. 363-386.

Edited Collections:

Lane, D.C., A. Größler and P.M. Milling (eds.). 2004. Rationality in System Dynamics: Selected papers from the first European system dynamics workshop, Mannheim University, Germany. Special Edition of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 21(4).

Lane, D.C., E. Rouwette and J.A.M. Vennix (eds.). 2006. System Dynamics in Organisational Consultation: Selected papers from the second European system dynamics workshop, Radboud University, The Netherlands. Special Edition of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 23(4).

Lane, D.C. and M. Schwaninger (eds.). 2008. Theory Building with System Dynamics: Selected papers from the third European system dynamics workshop, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Special Edition of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 25(4).

Lane, D.C., C. Bianchi and E. Bivona (eds.). 2010. Public Sector Applications of the System Dynamics Approach: Selected papers from the fourth European system dynamics workshop, University of Palermo, Italy. Special Edition of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 27(4).

Husemann, E and D.C. Lane (eds.). 2012. Proceedings of the 30th International Conference (July 22-26, 2012 St. Gallen, Switzerland). System Dynamics Society, Albany NY.

Lane, D.C., J. Strohhecker and A. Größler (eds.). 2012. Developing Sustainable Strategies with System Dynamics: Selected papers from the fifth European system dynamics workshop, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany. Special Edition of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 29(6).

Lane, D., Ö. Pala and Y. Barlas (eds.). 2015. Health, Demographic Change, and Well-Being: System dynamics and the European Union's Horizon 2020 Program: Selected papers from the sixth European system dynamics workshop, Koç University, Turkey. 32(4): Special Edition of the international journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science.

Lane, D. C. & Kopainsky, B. (eds.). (2017) Natural Resource Management: Contributions of System Dynamics to Research, Policy and Implementation: Selected papers from the Seventh European System Dynamics Workshop, at Bergen University, Norway. Special Edition of the international journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science: 34(4).

Conferences and Invited Presentations:

Plenary speaker: 51st Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan (2007).

Research seminar speaker: National Audit Office (2007).

Plenary speaker: Government OR Service Annual Conference (2007).

Invited speaker: Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics, Frankfurt (2008).

Research seminar speaker: University of Cambridge, Judge Business School (2009).

Research seminar speaker: UCL, Clinical OR Unit (2009).

Research seminar speaker: Health Protection Agency (2010).

Invited speaker: Erasmus Mundus Masters Programme in System Dynamics, University of Bergen (2010).

Presidential Address: International System Dynamics Conference, Washingston DC (2011).

Plenary Speaker: Mayo Clinic conference on Systems Engineering and Operations Research in Health Care, Rochester MN (2011).

Research seminar speaker: LSE, SYSTEMS40@theLSE' conference on 'How can systems thinking and practice be better "harnessed" for public policy purposes?' (2012).

Program Co-chair: International System Dynamics Conference, hosted by the Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland (2012).

Keynote Address: Special event on ‘Systems Thinking to Support Policy Making’, hosted by the Government Operational Research Service and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA, London (2013).

Invited Speaker: Duke University/National University of Singapore symposium on ‘Building models to inform aging policy: getting it right before time runs out’, hosted by the Program in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, NUS, Singapore (2013).

Invited Speaker: Sixth European System Dynamics Workshop, hosted by Koç University, Turkey, April (2013)

Selected Speaker: 26th European Conference on Operational Research, Policy Analytics stream, EURO26, hosted by Sapienza University, Rome (2013).

Invited Speaker: Operational Research Society inaugural workshop on ‘Fostering Behavioural OR’, London (2013)

Invited Speaker: Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, BIS, London (2013).

Research Seminar Speaker: University of Hull, Business School, Centre for Systems Studies (2014).

Invited Speaker: Northern Ireland Local Group of the Royal Statistical Society, hosted by the Centre for Statistical Science & Operational Research at Queen’s University Belfast (2014).