Expanding the Concept of ‘Model’: The Transfer from Technological to Human Domains within Systems Thinking

  • Magnus Ramage
  • Karen Shipp
Chapter
Part of the Automation, Collaboration, & E-Services book series (ACES, volume 1)

Abstract

‘Systems thinking’ is a portmanteau term for a body of theories and techniques that unite around a focus on whole systems and relationships between entities, rather than breaking systems down into their individual components and considering those components in isolation. Various forms of modelling are central within systems thinking, with many of the modelling techniques being developed from work originally carried out in engineering and technology settings, but applied to human-centred application domains, in particular organisations and the environment, but also many others. In this chapter we will discuss four quite different systems modelling approaches that have adapted modelling techniques from engineering to studies of humanity: system dynamics (the work of Jay Forrester and others, applied to organisational, economic and ecological systems); the viable systems model of Stafford Beer (applied to organisational systems); the work of Howard Odum on ecological systems; and the systems diagramming approach of the former Faculty of Technology at the Open University.

Keywords

Modelling Language Unify Modelling Language System Thinking Soft System Methodology General System Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Ramage
    • 1
  • Karen Shipp
    • 1
  1. 1.The Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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