The TOC Thinking Processes (Chapter 23 of the Theory of Constraints Handbook)

John Davies and Victoria J. Mabin


Level of TOC knowledge acquired:

Advanced and Intermediate


41 pages

Designed for:

Academics and Consultants


Thinking Processes







This is an individual chapter of Theory of Constraints Handbook. This chapter provides an overview of the Thinking Processes, their nature and use; addressing the TP’s conceptual, philosophical and methodological foundations; cataloguing their use and practice as reported in the published literature; discussing the need, the design and purpose of the TP’s; and reviewing their effectiveness, on their own, in concert with one another, or with other decision-making methods.

We find that TOC serves as a near-complete methodological set on its own, and note synergies through multi-methodological use. We identify and discuss issues raised in the literature: the need to gain further recognition from professional groups and academia, and gaps such as longitudinal and empirical studies. We suggest forging links with cognate fields and disciplines to build further acceptance for TOC.


  • The Nature, Development, and Use of the TOC TP
  • The Nature of Other Approaches to Problem-Solving and Decision Making
  • Lessons for TOC from the Literature
  • The Nature and Use of the TOC Thinking Processes Revisited

Comprehensive coverage of the Theory of Constraints 

Complete Table of contents of the Theory of Constraints Handbook

About the Authors:

James F. Cox III, Ph.D, CFPIM, CIRM, holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He is a Jonah's Jonah, Professor Emeritus, and was the Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Dr. Cox has written three books on TOC.

John Schleier holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Mortgage Services Division of Alltel, Inc., Executive Vice President of Computer Power, Inc., and Director of Office Systems and Data Delivery for IBM.


The Theory of Constraints Handbook: