School of Management

AProf Robert Cavana

Reader in Management Systems
School of Management

Phone: 04 463 5137
Location: Room 904, Rutherford House 23 Lambton Quay, Pipitea Campus

AProf Robert Cavana

Currently Teaching

MGMT 312 - Sustainable Operations
Course Coordinator

MGMT 315 - Systems Modelling
Course Coordinator

MGMT 404 - Research Methods
Course Coordinator


A/Prof Bob Cavana is a Reader in Business Analytics in the School of Management, and co-author of Systems Thinking, System Dynamics: Managing Change and Complexity, 2nd ed (Pearson Education, Auckland, 2007) and Applied Business Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (Wiley, Brisbane, 2001; Chinese edition 2004).

Previously he was Corporate Economist with the NZ Railways Corporation and has consulted to various NZ organisations on economic, strategic, systems and business research projects. He is a previous President of the NZ Operational Research Society, and a Vice-President for the International System Dynamics Society. Currently he is a NZ representative and Company Secretary on the Executive Board of the Australia & New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) and a Managing Editor of System Dynamics Review.


  • 1983, PhD, Management Science (System Dynamics), University of Bradford.
  • 1975, MCom (Econ), University of Auckland.
  • 1971, BCom in Economics, University of Auckland.

Selected Publications

Selected Articles

Tobias M, Cavana RY, Bloomfield A, 2010. Application of a system dynamics model to inform investment in smoking cessation services in New Zealand. American Journal of Public Health 100(7): 1274-1281. [Special issue on tobacco control].

Retna KS, Chong E, Cavana RY. 2009. Tutors and tutorials: students' perceptions in a New Zealand university. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 31(3): 251-260.

Cavana RY, Tobias M. 2008. Integrative system dynamics: analysis of policy options for tobacco control in New Zealand. Systems Research & Behavioral Science 25(5): 675-694.

Cavana RY, Boyd D, Taylor R. 2007. A systems thinking study of retention and recruitment issues for the New Zealand Army electronic technician trade group, Systems Research & Behavioral Science 24(2): 201-216.

Cavana RY, Corbett LM, Lo YL (Glenda).  2007. Developing zones of tolerance for managing passenger rail service quality, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 24(1): 7-31.

Cavana RY, Clifford LV. 2006. Demonstrating the utility of system dynamics for public policy analysis in New Zealand: the case of excise tax policy on tobacco. System Dynamics Review, 22(4): 321-348.

Woog R, Cavana RY, Roberts R, Packham R. 2006. Working at the interface between systems and complexity thinking: insights from a market access design project for poor livestock producers. Systems Research & Behavioral Science 23(6): 727-741.

Cavana RY, Mares ED. 2004. Integrating critical thinking and systems thinking: From premises to causal loops. System Dynamics Review 20(3): 223-235.

Cavana RY. 2004. A qualitative analysis of reintroducing cabotage onto New Zealand's coasts. Maritime Policy and Management: An International Journal of Shipping and Port Research 31(3): 179-198.

Meimand M, Cavana RY, Laking R. 2002.  Using DEA and survival analysis for measuring performance of branches in New Zealand's Accident Compensation Corporation. Journal of the Operational Research Society 53(3): 303-313.

Elias AA, Cavana RY, Jackson LS. 2002.  Stakeholder analysis for R&D project management.  R&D Management 32(4): 301-310.

Cavana RY, Davies PK, Robson RM, Wilson KJ. 1999.  Drivers of quality in health services: different worldviews of clinicians and policy managers revealed. System Dynamics Review 15(3): 331-340.

Cavana RY, Chester JW, Cooper JFS. 1997. A policy making framework for the New Zealand wine industry.  System Dynamics: An International Journal of Policy Modelling IX(1): 1-19.

Cavana RY, Lee MW, Bennett J, Taylor RJ.  1996.  Possum and Gorse Control on a Farm Woodlot:  A System Dynamics Analysis.  Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research. 13(2): 181-207.

Cavana RY. 1995. Restructuring the New Zealand railway system: 1982-1993. Transport Reviews: A Transnational Transdisciplinary Journal  15(2): 119-139.

Cavana RY. 1994. Coastal shipping policy in New Zealand: The case for an empirical cost benefit analysis. Maritime Policy and Management: An International Journal of Shipping and Port Research (21)2:161-172.

Cavana RY, Glass BP. 1985. Economic Analysis of Selected Special-Purpose Species Regimes.  New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science.  15(2): 180-194.

Cavana RY, Coyle RG. 1984. A policy analysis model for New Zealand's plantation forestry system. New Zealand  Journal of Forestry 29(1): 24-50.

Selected Books and Edited Collections

Voges K & Cavana RY. (eds). 2011. The Future of Work and Organisations. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference. Wellington, NZ, 7-9 December, 2011 (Conference Program and Abstract Book; and CD-Rom).

Maani KE, Cavana RY. 2009. Introduction to Systems Thinking. Pearson Education NZ (Prentice Hall): Auckland. []

Maani KE, Cavana RY. 2007. Systems Thinking, System Dynamics: Managing Change and Complexity. (2nd ed). Pearson Education NZ (Prentice Hall): Auckland. []

Cavana RY, Hutchinson WE (eds). 2007. Special Issue on Australia and New Zealand Systems (ANZSYS). Systems Research and Behavioral Science 24(2).

Ford A, Cavana RY (eds). 2004. Special Issue on Environmental and Resource Systems. System Dynamics Review 20(2).

Cavana RY, Delahaye BL, Sekaran U. 2001. Applied Business Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. Wiley: Brisbane. [$isbn13=9780471341260] [Chinese translation, 2004, Wiley and Yeh Yeh Book Gallery: Taiwan]

Maani KE, Cavana RY. 2000. Systems Thinking and Modelling: Understanding Change and Complexity. Pearson Education NZ (Prentice Hall): Auckland. (262 pp + CD-Rom).

Cavana RY, Vennix JAM, Rouwette EAJA, Stevenson-Wright M, Candlish J (eds). 1999. Systems Thinking for the Next Millennium. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society and the 5th Australian and New Zealand Systems Conference. Held in Wellington, New Zealand, 20-23 July. System Dynamics Society, Albany, USA.

Cavana RY, Harrison IG, Heffernan FEB, Kissling CC. 1998. Freight Transport. In: The Structure and Dynamics of New Zealand Industries, Ed. Michael Pickford and Alan Bollard, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North (Chapter 7, pp 183-219).

Haywood E, Cavana RY. 1986. A Macro-Economic Model and Scenarios to 1995. New Zealand Planning Council, Wellington (Planning Paper No.24).


* Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies (HSSS) Honorary Award as "Distinguished Scientist in the Scientific area of Systems Approach" awarded during the its 5th National and International Conference in Xanthi, Greece, 24th June 2009.

* Emerald Group Publishers Highly Commended Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2008 (for a paper published in the International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management).

* Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in New Zealand Journalists Award for the best paper in transport, logistics and supply chain management for the year ended 30 June 2005.

* Best Paper in University Contributions and Systems Methodology Stream of the 9th Australia New Zealand Systems Conference: Systems in Action, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 2003.