The Future of General Systems Research: Obstacles, Potentials, Case Studies

Troncale, L. (1985). The Future of General Systems Research: Obstacles, Potentials, Case Studies. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-85-021

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This paper attempts to provide an evaluative and prescriptive overview of the young field of systems science as exemplified by one of its 'specialties' general systems theory (GST). Subjective observation and some data on seven vital signs are presented to measure the progress of the field over the last two decades. Thirty-three specific obstacles inhibiting current research in systems science are presented. Suggestions for overcoming these obstacles are cited as a prescription for improved progress in the field. A sampling of some of the potential near-term developments that may be expected in the three rather distinct areas of research on systems isomorphics, improvement of systems methodologies, and the utility of systems applications are illustrated with mini-case studies. Throughout, there is an attempt to identify 'key' questions and practical mechanisms that might serve as a stimulus for research. Finally, a set of criteria defining a general theory of systems is suggested and illustrated with a case study. The paper concludes with a projection of the long-term contributions that systems science may make toward a resolution of the growing chasm between high-tech solutions and high-value needs in human systems.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: System and Decision Sciences - Core (SDS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:56
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:12

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