Dealing with Complexity: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of Systems Science

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Springer US, Oct 12, 2010 - Business & Economics - 280 pages
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Contents 11. 2. 2. Four Main Areas of Dispute 247 11. 2. 3. Summary . . . 248 11. 3. Making Sense of the Issues . . 248 11. 3. 1. Introduction . . . . 248 11. 3. 2. The Scientific Approach 248 11. 3. 3. Science and Matters of Society . 249 11. 3. 4. Summary . 251 11. 4. Tying It All Together . . . . 251 11. 4. 1. Introduction . . . . 251 11. 4. 2. A Unifying Framework 251 11. 4. 3. Critical Systems Thinking 253 11. 4. 4. Summary 254 11. 5. Conclusion 254 Questions . . . 255 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Chapter One SYSTEMS Origin and Evolution, Terms and Concepts 1. 1. INTRODUCTION We start this book with Theme A (see Figure P. I in the Preface), which aims to develop an essential and fundamental understanding of systems science. So, what is systems science? When asked to explain what systems science is all about, many systems scientists are confronted with a rather daunting task. The discipline tends to be presented and understood in a fragmented way and very few people hold an overview understanding of the subject matter, while also having sufficient in-depth competence in many and broad-ranging subject areas where the ideas are used. Indeed, it was precisely this difficulty that identified the need for a comprehensive well-documented account such as is presented here in Dealing with Complexity.

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About the author (2010)

About the authors Robert L. Flood, born 1955, is Professor of Management Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. He worked for 8 years in management with Paramount Pictures, National Opinion Polls and the Berkshire Area Health Authority, and actively pursues his management interests through consultancy, mainly in commercial organisations. He has authored 4 books, edited 2 others, is founding editor of the journal Systems Practice and has published in many other learned journals. Professor Flood holds a PhD in Systems Science and is also a Chartered Engineer. Michael C. Jackson, born 1951, is Professor of Management Systems at the University of Hull, UK. Prior to entering academic life he worked for 4 years in the civil service. He enjoys diverse consultancy interests with a particular focus on community projects and non-profit-making organisations. He has authored 2 books, edited 6 others, is deputy editor of the journal Systems Practice and has published in many other learned journals and contributed to several books. Professor Jackson holds a Masters degree in Systems and is currently Chair of the UK Systems Society.