Systems Approach to “Problem Solving”

  • Robert L. Flood
  • Ewart R. Carson


Much of humanity’s efforts in the developed and developing world aim to overcome the “problems” created by changes in science, technology and the effects of these on society. Knowledge gained by traditional and systems sciences has been implemented in technological developments and devices. This has often led to unforeseen consequences such as pollution, unemployment, and scarcity of resources. Efficient and effective technical expertise is required to plan and design to overcome these difficulties. Chapter 5 presented one contribution from systems science. Often, however, such requirements involve hard decisions to be made. More often than not, a conflict of interests arises. New approaches are needed to help to manage that conflict. In this chapter, which continues to develop Theme C, we introduce a number of these approaches to “problem solving” each able to contribute in particular ways to deal with the complexities of modern society. Let us first set the scene.


Problematic Situation System Methodology Constitutive Rule Problem Context Soft System Methodology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Flood
    • 1
  • Ewart R. Carson
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of HullHullEngland
  2. 2.City UniversityLondonEngland

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