Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age / Edition 1

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The concept of systems embodies the notion of a collection of elements connected together to form a whole. Systems thinking uses these notions to help understand the world. Central to this approach are the ideas of emergence and hierarchy, and communication and control. Systems practice employs systems ideas to design and manage complex processes and artefacts for the benefit of individuals, organisations, and society.
Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age comprises a collection of papers written prior to the UKSS conference, that have been contributed by systems thinkers from around the world, with the aim of encouraging debate and promoting development of pertinent issues in systems theory and practice. In current times where the focus has moved from 'information' to 'knowledge' and where 'knowledge management', 'knowledge assets' and so on have become part of everyday speak, it seemed fitting to publish a book with the title of Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
From the Seventh International Conference of the UK Systems Society held in July 2002 come 54 papers that put forth widely varying viewpoints on the current state of systems theory. The papers are organized under the headings of systems theory, systems methodologies, knowledge management, environmental management, critical systems thinking, social systems design, business, information systems, modelling, and student presentations. Specific topics include mapping the stages of the development of management sciences; cybernetic/systems approach to transformation of the towel production firms in Osaka, Japan; design of a knowledge management system for quality improvement in a public education system in Mexico; reconciling complexity science in organizations and Christian spirituality; and the contribution of semiotics to handling complexity in networked multimedia systems. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306472473
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 478
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Emergent or Just Unexpected? 3
Sawu Bona: Systems Theory in Design 11
Mapping the Stages of the Development of Management Sciences Methodologies in the UK: From Single Solving Methods to Multimethodology 19
Relevance and Rigour, Theory and Practice in Systems 29
Vickers' Concept of Relationship-Maintaining and the Nature of Regulation 37
Connecting Soft Systems Thinking with Project Management Practice: An Organizational Change Case Study 47
Cybernetics/Systems Approach to Transformation of the Towel Production Firms in Osaka Area, Japan 55
Towards a Contingency Framework for Intervention in the Context of a Systems-Based Approach 63
SSM-Guided Research to Improve the Linkages between a Science Provider and their End-Users 71
A Multi-Methodological Approach to Emergency Call Handling in the Metropolitan Police Service 79
Using SSM to Improve Supply Chain Effectiveness 87
Improving Systems Intervention in SMEs: Reflections on Systems Boundaries in Practice 97
Soft Systems Methodology based on Organizational Knowledge-Creation Theory 105
Inquiring into Learning as System 115
Creating Corporate Value through Knowledge Management Systems 123
Information, Knowledge and Teams 131
A Human Value System Based Methodology for an Organisational Development Consultancy 139
Systemic Learning with a Searchlight Approach 147
The Knowledge Worker and the Knowledge Age 155
Design of a Knowledge Management System for Quality Improvement in a Public Education System in Mexico 163
Knowledge in Self-Organization Process: Hope (Finite) of System Thinking 173
The Value of Knowledge Workers - What Affects It and Who Decides? 185
Introduction to Knowledge Profiling 193
Participative Action Research (PAR) for Rural Community Development in South Sulawesi, Indonesia 203
Towards a New Agenda for Operational Research and Environmental Management 211
Rhythm of the Rivers: An Ecosystem Approach to Human Health on the Amazon Frontier 219
Turnaround Systems Alignment: A Methodology for Dealing with Complex-Coercive Problems 231
On an Application of Critical Systems Heuristics in a Framework for Evaluation of Software Development Productivity 239
A Trusting Constructivist View of Systems Thinking in the Knowledge Age 247
Autopoiesis and the Theory of Viable Systems 257
Reconciling Complexity Science in Organizations and Christian Spirituality 265
Taking Account of Human Rights 275
The Impact of Computer Hardware Theft on ICT Introduction to South African Rural Communities: An Interpretive Assessment through Focus Groups and Morphological Analysis within a Process-Based Research Framework 283
Participation in Tharnes Chase Community Forest: A Multimedia Elicitation Tool 293
A Systems Approach to Marketing 303
Systemic Requirements for the Development of Competitive Capability: Lessons from a New Zealand Study of Competitive Advantage 311
Rethinking Business Strategy with Complexity Theory 321
Information System Risks and Countermeasures in Supply Chain Integration and Management for an Enterprise 331
An Evaluation Framework for Information Strategies at Higher Education Institutions 339
Systems Thinking in the Theory and Practice of Strategic Information Systems Planning 349
Practical Approaches to an Information Systems Architecture Implementation at Glaxo Wellcome 357
The Role of Surplus Vision in Knowledge Systems 365
Cross-Cultural Issues Affecting Electronic Transfer of Personal Health Information 375
Comment on 'How' to Conduct an Action Research Study in the Domain of Information Systems Development 381
Complex Clusters in Local Environments: Multi-Layered Multi-Media Learning 391
Handling Complexity in Networked Multimedia Systems: The Contribution of Semiotics 399
Some Considerations for a Semantic Analysis of Conceptual Data Schemata 407
Product and Systems Design through Linguistic Modelling 415
Modelling Roles in Business Systems using Role Objects 423
Towards a Definition of the "Information Bearing Capability" of a Conceptual Data Schema 431
Enacting Platforms towards Critical Systems Practice: Reflections from an Organisation-Based Action Research 441
A Base for Simulating Information Distribution 449
Systems Thinking and the Knowledge Age: Revisiting Kuhn 457
Chaos and Complexity Theory in Management: An Exploration from a Critical Systems Thinking Perspective 465
Author Index 473
Index 475
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