Cybernetic Principles for the Design, Control, and Development of Social Systems and Some Afterthoughts

  • G. Probst
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 26)


In the last few years, the theme of self-organization has provoked a considerable volume of research in the natural sciences, and important (but, to my mind, still too little known) progress has been made in this field. The main question for us was to what extent this knowledge about self-organization could be transferred to social systems, e.g. firms. Such transfers — often leading to far-reaching conclusions — are nowadays being made, at a rapidly increasing rate, by social and management scientists, who mostly, however, have insufficient knowledge of the basic theories. As with “social Darwinism”, there is a danger that starting from misinterpretations and incorrect analogies, untenable theories will be developed relating to the social sciences. If this danger is to be avoided, a more thorough understanding of the basic theories and research results concerning these phenomena is required than can be obtained by reading secondary literature and a few popular-scientific essays. Basically, the question is: what are the arguments for and against a connection between the management of social systems and knowledge in the natural sciences, and in what areas can the natural sciences contribute something?


Social System Natural Science Evolutionary Management Spontaneous Order Constitutive Feature 
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 Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Probst
    • 1
  1. 1.Hochschule für Wirtschafts- und SozialwissenschaftenInstitut für BetriebswirtschaftSt. GallenSwitzerland

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