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Complex systems approach

Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of systems—from simple to complex—in nature, society, cognition, engineering, technology and science itself. To systems scientists, the world can be understood as a system of systems. The field aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations that are applicable in a variety of areas, such as psychology, biology, medicine, communication, business management, engineering, and social sciences.

Systems science covers formal sciences such as complex systems, cybernetics, dynamical systems theory, information theory, linguistics or systems theory. It has applications in the field of the natural and social sciences and engineering, such as control theory, operations research, social systems theory, systems biology, system dynamics, human factors, systems ecology, systems engineering and systems psychology. Themes commonly stressed in system science are (a) holistic view, (b) interaction between a system and its embedding environment, and (c) complex (often subtle) trajectories of dynamic behavior that sometimes are stable (and thus reinforcing), while at various 'boundary conditions' can become wildly unstable (and thus destructive). Concerns about Earth-scale biosphere/geosphere dynamics is an example of the nature of problems to which systems science seeks to contribute meaningful insights.


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Management cybernetics is the field of cybernetics concerned with management and organizations. The notion of cybernetics and management was first introduced by Stafford Beer in the late 1950s.

Management cybernetics is the concrete application of natural cybernetic laws to all types of organizations and institutions created by human beings, and to the interactions within them and between them. It is a theory based on natural laws. It addresses the issues that every individual who wants to influence an organization in any way must learn to resolve. This theory is not restricted to the actions of top managers. Every member of an organization and every person who to a greater or lesser extent communicates or interacts with it is involved in the considerations.

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Systems engineering techniques are used in complex projects: from spacecrafts to chip design, from robotics to creating large software products to building bridges, Systems engineering uses a host of tools that include modeling & simulation, requirements analysis, and scheduling to manage complexity.

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Dennis Meadows (1942) is an American scientist and professor of Systems Management and director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire.[1] He lives in Durham, New Hampshire. known as co-author of Limits to Growth.

"In 1972 it was inconceivable to most people that the physical impact of humanity’s activities could ever grow large enough to alter basic natural processes of the globe."[2] In that time "we had to talk in our first edition of Limits to Growth about future problems."[2] Their studies showed "that humanity’s activities were still below sustainable levels. Now they are above. In 1972 our recommendations told how to slow growth."[2] Now, Meadows said, "we must tell people how to manage an orderly reduction of their activities back down below the limits of the earth’s resources".[2]

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Did you know

  • ...that a successful experimental system must be stable and reproducible enough for scientists to make sense of the system's behavior, but unpredictable enough that it can produce useful results?
  • ... that the American systems scientist John Nelson Warfield found systems science to consist of a hierarchy of sciences.
    • Beginning at the base, with a science of description,
    • continuing vertically with a science of design,
    • then a science of complexity,
    • and next a science of action, called "Interactive management".



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