Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

System Dynamics in the Evolution of the Systems Approach

  • Markus SchwaningerEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_537-4



The science of communication and control in complex, dynamic systems. The core objects of study are information, communication, feedback, adaptation, and control or governance. In the newer versions of cybernetics, the emphasis is on observation, self-organization, self-reference, and learning.

Dynamical system

The dynamical system concept is a mathematical formalization of time-dependent processes. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a river, or the evolution of a population of fish in a lake.

Law of requisite variety

Ashby’s law of requisite variety says “Only variety can destroy variety.” It implies that the varieties of two interacting systems must be in balance, if stability is to be achieved.

Organizational cybernetics

The science which applies cybernetic principles to organization. Synonyms are management cybernetics and managerial cybernetics.

System dynamics (SD)

A methodology and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Management and strategyUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland