Systems Concepts in Action: A Practitioner's Toolkit

Stanford University Press
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Systems Concepts in Action: A Practitioner's Toolkit explores the application of systems ideas to investigate, evaluate, and intervene in complex and messy situations. The text serves as a field guide, with each chapter representing a method for describing and analyzing; learning about; or changing and managing a challenge or set of problems. The book is the first to cover in detail such a wide range of methods from so many different parts of the systems field. The book's Introduction gives an overview of systems thinking, its origins, and its major subfields. In addition, the introductory text to each of the book's three parts provides background information on the selected methods. Systems Concepts in Action may serve as a workbook, offering a selection of tools that readers can use immediately. The approaches presented can also be investigated more profoundly, using the recommended readings provided. While these methods are not intended to serve as "recipes," they do serve as a menu of options from which to choose. Readers are invited to combine these instruments in a creative manner in order to assemble a mix that is appropriate for their own strategic needs.
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About the author

Bob Williams is an organizational consultant and evaluator. He is coeditor of Systems Concepts in Evaluation: An Expert Anthology. Richard Hummelbrunner is a consultant in the field of local and regional development. He is coauthor of Instrumente systemischen Handelns: Eine Erkundungstour.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Stanford University Press
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Published on
Oct 25, 2010
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780804776554
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
Business & Economics / Management Science
Business & Economics / Organizational Development
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The present volume illustrates a rich and promising research field in service, service systems sciences, by combining and fusing two strands of sciences: the science of service systems and systems sciences of service. The scale, complexity, and interdependence of today’s service systems have been driven to an unprecedented level by globalization, demographic changes, and technology developments, so that it is absolutely necessary now for us to cultivate a new frontier of service research.

In response, service science has emerged during the past decade as a transdisciplinary research field that aims to clarify, analyze, and design the structure and process of service systems. Service science is strongly motivated to prove the science of service systems. To deal with complexity, interactions, and the network of, in, and among service systems, we need to take a more systemic view. Because systems sciences offers a way of thinking in relationships and interaction and theories and models to address complexity, it is legitimate to develop systems sciences of service by explicitly focusing on systemic properties of service and service systems.

As a volume of the Translational Systems Sciences series, this book emphasizes, in particular, a translational systems sciences perspective when the authors are approaching service, service systems, and service innovation. Indeed, the book employs systems sciences as a common framework or language not only to approach service in a holistic way but also to take a translational approach aiming to explain, analyze, design, and support service systems and their evolution.

The Netherlands Society for Systems Research was founded on 9 May 1970 to promote interdisciplinary scientific activity on basis of a systems approach. It has its seat in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Officers for the years 1975/1976: President: G. Broekstra, University of Delft Secretaries: G. De Zeeuw, University of Amsterdam (acting secretary) G.R. Eyzenga, University of Groningen Treasurer: J.N. Herbschleb, Computer Laboratory, Department of Cardio logy, University Hospital, CatharijnesingellOl, Utrecht. All information about the society can be obtained from the acting secretary. The editor is happy to announce that H. Koppelaar from the State University Utrecht will act as associate editor of the Journal. Moreover, the following scientists have declared to be willing to act as member of the editiorial board: Professor G. Klir, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, U.S.A. Professor S. Braten, Institute of Sociology, University of Oslo, Blindern, Norway Professor B.R. Gaines, Department of Electrical Engineering Science, Univer sity of Essex, Colchester, U.K. Professor Maria Nowakowska, Department of Praxiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland. Professor F. Pichler, Department of Systems Theory, Johannes Kepler Univer sity, Linz-Auhof, Austria. Professor B. Zeigler, Department of Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. The editor ADDRESSES OF AUTHORS Broekstra, G., Graduate School of Management, Poortweg 6-8, Delft, The Netherlands. Dalenoort, G.J., Institute for experimental psychology, State University Groningen, Biological Centre, Section D, Kerklaan 30, Haren (Gr.), The Netherlands.
In today's social and behavioral sciences, the complexity of many problems requires the development of a number of highly specialized disciplines. However, the cost of such development is the obscuring of the relationships between these disciplines. This dilemma calls for a "mixed strategy" that combines the advantages of specialization with those of a unified viewpoint. The purpose of this book is to provide the connective tissue that is needed to obtain an overall view. The principles of general system theory naturally lead to a framework that includes many known models and content areas; our intention is to strike a balance between generality and plain usefulness. The first part of this book introduces a social system as a network of inter acting decision makers. This general framework allows a classification of a num ber of more specific structures, which include autocratic and democratic systems, systems with collective and individual decision making, and systems with and without coalitions. In the second part, various psychological schools are seen as specific instances of a general paradigm, which is consequently a point of departure for a taxon omy of learning systems. For a full understanding of this matter, we recommend a careful study of the first four chapters as an introduction to the concepts elaborated in the second part of the book. ix PREFACE x Though the subject matter has a formal background, it does not require a mathematical knowledge in depth; familiarity with elementary probability theory and linear algebra is enough.
“A reader’s delight. A story with nostalgia, history, lost love, suspense and a touch of American Graffiti.” Maxine Paetro, New York Times bestselling author “First-time novelist Bob Williams’ The Eastside of Town is a cracking good mystery and an even more compelling coming-of-age story. Set in Central Florida in the eventful 1960’s, this rapidly paced novel uses the biggest issues of the day-Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the Kennedy assassination as a catalyst in the life of youthful protagonist Tommy Smith. Readers with a taste for mystery and fine fiction will love it.” Mary Stanton ( Claudia Bishop ) author of THE BEAUFORT & COMPANY MYSTERIES “Even if you didn’t grow up in Central Florida during the 1960’s, The Eastside of Town offers a gripping tale of friendship, lost love, coming to terms with coming-of-age...and murder. Bob Williams knows how to tell a tale, but he also knows how to instill a deep sense of place in his writing. Those who remember Orlando as it used to be will enjoy nostalgic references to such favorite old hangouts as Ronnie’s Restaurant and the Orlando Youth Center. Along the way, Williams does a masterful job of creating characters who seem like old friends and plotting a story that keeps us riveted until the end.” Bob Morris, (Baja Florida, Bahamarama, Jamaica Dead) Five friends who grew up on the eastside of Orlando who experienced fathers returning from WWII, the mysteries of girls, Friday night lights, prom, integration, civil rights, assassinations of President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., the draft, and the Vietnam War are reunited when Jackie, the girl who taught all of them about passion and compassion, is brutally murdered. Tommy Smith convinces his friends they need to find out what happened to Jackie. This may not have been a good idea.
Completely Updated and Revised

This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices.

In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.

The updated and revised Currency edition of this business classic contains over one hundred pages of new material based on interviews with dozens of practitioners at companies like BP, Unilever, Intel, Ford, HP, Saudi Aramco, and organizations like Roca, Oxfam, and The World Bank. It features a new Foreword about the success Peter Senge has achieved with learning organizations since the book’s inception, as well as new chapters on Impetus (getting started), Strategies, Leaders’ New Work, Systems Citizens, and Frontiers for the Future.

Mastering the disciplines Senge outlines in the book will:

• Reignite the spark of genuine learning driven by people focused on what truly matters to them
• Bridge teamwork into macro-creativity
• Free you of confining assumptions and mindsets
• Teach you to see the forest and the trees
• End the struggle between work and personal time
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