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Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM): approach and application

J. Jena (Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Sumati Sidharth (Department of Technology Management, Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune, India)
Lakshman S. Thakur (Operations and Information Management Department, School of Business, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)
Devendra Kumar Pathak (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
V.C. Pandey (Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, HMR Institute of Technology and Management, New Delhi, India)

Journal of Advances in Management Research

ISSN: 0972-7981

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the methodology of total interpretive structural modeling (TISM) in order to provide interpretation for direct as well as significant transitive linkages in a directed graph.


This study begins by unfolding the concepts and advantages of TISM. The step-by-step methodology of TISM is exemplified by employing it to analyze the mutual dependence among inhibitors of smartphone manufacturing ecosystem development (SMED). Cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to the classification analysis is also performed to graphically represent these inhibitors based on their driving power and dependence.


This study highlights the significance of TISM over conventional interpretive structural modeling (ISM). The inhibitors of SMED are explored by reviewing existing literature and obtaining experts’ opinions. TISM is employed to classify these inhibitors in order to devise a five-level hierarchical structure based on their driving power and dependence.

Practical implications

This study facilitates decision makers to take required actions to mitigate these inhibitors. Inhibitors (with strong driving power), which occupy the bottom level in the TISM hierarchy, require more attention from top management and effective monitoring of these inhibitors can assist in achieving the organizations’ goals.


By unfolding the benefits of TISM over ISM, this study is an endeavor to develop insights toward utilization of TISM for modeling inhibitors of SMED. This paper elaborates step-by-step procedure to perform TISM and hence makes it simple for researchers to understand its concepts. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that analyzes the inhibitors of SMED by utilizing TISM approach.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the IIMA-Idea Telecom Centre of Excellence (IITCoE), Ahmedabad, India for providing partial funding to this research.


Jena, J., Sidharth, S., Thakur, L.S., Kumar Pathak, D. and Pandey, V.C. (2017), "Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM): approach and application", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 162-181.



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