Infranomics pp 269-296 | Cite as

System Governance: Emergence of Practical Perspectives Across the Disciplines

  • Behnido Y. Calida
  • Charles B. Keating
Part of the Topics in Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality book series (TSRQ, volume 24)


As the eventual concept of governance has yet to emerge, traditional sources of power and authority symbols will always be at risk of falling short or even failing catastrophically. This is a daunting challenge since the actual governance landscape have dynamically evolved far more sophisticatedly than the usual well-framed “control” models that are embedded within traditional domains of administrative, public administration and political theories. The purpose of this paper is to articulate an alternative analysis of governance -relevant themes based on systems theoretic principles. This study utilizes a system-of-systems (SoS) conceptualization of governance that relates (1) a ‘governed’ system—the target of governance , with (2) a ‘governing’ system—the direct controller of the ‘governed’ system, (3) a ‘metagovernance’ systems—a metasystem that strategically influences the ‘governing’ system directly and the ‘governed’ system indirectly, and (4) its contextual environment—as anything external to the supposed SoS boundary. The paper will discuss how the symbols of governance that perpetuate “myths of control” thinking within the emergent infranomics discourse will be better understood incorporating for instance pluralist perspectives, role of the observer, and information—a few example of concepts and principles that are well-articulated in systems-based theories and approaches. The main contribution of this study is a set of systems-based ideas representing governance that will continue to remain relevant in spite of emergent problems and increased complexity.


System theory Governance Infranomics Transdisciplinary Clustering analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering Management and Systems EngineeringOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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