Managing and Engineering in Complex Situations

  • Samuel F. Kovacic
  • Andres Sousa-Poza

Part of the Topics in Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality book series (TSRQ, volume 21)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Andres Sousa-Poza
    Pages 1-9
  3. Theory on Wicked Problems and Complex Situations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Jose J. Padilla
      Pages 79-93
  4. Description of Wicked Problems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. Jonathan Pryshlakivsky, Cory Searcy
      Pages 109-128
    3. Diane K. Norbutus, Thomas J. Norbutus
      Pages 165-181
    4. William O. Welsh III
      Pages 183-199
  5. Cases and Approaches

About this book


With so many terms available to define the same thing, it would seem nearly irresponsible to introduce yet another term (complex situation) to describe a phenomenological state of such as a system. However, a complex situation infers both a broader meaning and imposes a different perspective. Complex in this context is dependent on understanding and reality rather than observer and knowledge.   Situation imposes a gestalt that cannot be characterized within a singular perspective that relegates paradox to a superior/subordinate hierarchy. This also infers that complex situation has no monotonic definition or each definition is by default incomplete. Therefore the perennial derivations for systems such as complex systems, system of systems, federation of systems is no longer a sufficient descriptor for complex situation.  Ergo system and its genealogy lack the constitution to define complex situations. The books' intent is to explore this pathology through a series of papers written by authors that work in complex situations and have dealt with the limitations of the status quo: systems.


cognitive models complex situations complex systems complexity emergence systems engineering uncertainty

Editors and affiliations

  • Samuel F. Kovacic
    • 1
  • Andres Sousa-Poza
    • 2
  1. 1.Old Dominion University, Engineering Management and Systems EnginBatten College of Engineering and TechnoNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Old Dominion University, Engineering Management and Systems EnginBatten College of Engineering and TechnoNorfolkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Engineering
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-5514-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-5515-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1566-0443
  • Buy this book on publisher's site