While general systems research has had a considerable impact on research in the social sciences, this impact has been mainly conceptual and has not served to provide the operational and methodological aids for research which are possible. In addition, many of those systems-oriented directions and results which do impact social science research have developed inde- pendently and in piecemeal fashion in recent decades. The main develop- ment of this book is a cohesive framework within which to integrate results of general systems research and which provides a means for the organiza- tion of data and observations - and operational procedures by which to proceed - in the investigation and study of social and socio-technical systems. The book systematically develops in the first five chapters ail of the basic concepts and aspects which make up the framework, showing wherever possible the main sources of these concepts and placing them in historical perspective.
The developments of the first five chapters are pulled together and integrated, in the last chapter, into a conceptual and operational general systems problem solving framework which extends the investiga- tive capabilities of researchers of specific systems. The last chapter also contains an example of an overall investigation which utilizes the frame- work and which proceeds from system definition through the derivation of explanatory knowledge regarding the object system and which illustrates in detail most of the concepts and elements of the framework.
1. Science and Scientism.- 1.1. The Social Sciences and the Analytical Method.- 1.2. Hucksterism in Economics.- 1.3. The Systems Paradigm and the Re-emphasis of Interaction.- 1.4. The Status of Mathematical Research.- 1.5. General Systems Methodology and Empirical Research.- 1.6. The Influence of Cybernetics.- 1.7. Lessons from the Situation in Physics.- 2. General Systems Methodology as Language.- 2.1. Thematic Influences on Knowledge.- 2.2. Methodological and Pragmatist Emphases.- 2.3. General Systems Research as a Methodological Language.- 3. Basic Concepts.- 3.1. Categorization and Uncertainty.- 3.2. Epistemological Levels.- 3.3. Primitive Concepts.- 3.4. System Traits.- 3.5. Basic System Types.- 3.5.1. Object Systems.- 3.5.2. General Image Systems.- 3.5.3. Data Systems.- 3.6. Higher Level Systems.- 3.6.1. Framework/Investigator Interface.- 3.6.2. Behavior Systems.- 4. Generative Systems.- 4.1. Introduction.- 4.2. Representation of Source Systems.- 4.3. Representation of Data Systems.- 4.4. Definition of Mask.- 4.5. Choice of Best Mask, Sampling Scheme and Behavior System.- 4.5.1. General Considerations.- 4.5.2. Approximation versus Complexity.- 4.5.3. System Identification.- 4.5.4. Relations to the Social Sciences.- 4.5.5. Pragmatism and Uncertainty.- 5. Structure Systems.- 5.1. General Considerations.- 5.2. Definition of Structure.- 5.3. Structural Derivations.- 5.4. Separability in Design.- 5.5. Summary of Fundamental Concepts.- 6. GSPS.- I: An Organized Methodological Framework.- 6.1. Knowledge as Process.- 6.2. 'Theory' and Data in the Social Sciences.- 6.3. General Systems Problem Solving.- 6.3.1. GSPS.- 6.3.2. System Types.- 6.3.3. Problem Kinds.- 6.3.4. Requirement Types and Problem Types; Particular Systems, Requirements, and Problems.- 6.3.5. Formal Description.- 6.3.6. Summary.- 6.4. GSPS as an Interactive Framework.- II: General Systems Problem Solving and the Study of Domestic Conflict.- 6.5. Introduction.- 6.6. The Need for General Operational Methods.- 6.7. Past Work.- 6.8. Systems Problems Related to Source, Data and Behavior Systems.- 6.8.1. Source System and Data System.- 6.8.2. Behavior Systems.- Memoryless Behavior.- Memory Effects.- 6.9. Systems Problems Related to Structure.- 6.10. GSPS and Theory Construction.- 6.11. Further Directions for Investigation.- Appendices.- References.- Indices.
Series: Frontiers in System Research
Number Of Pages: 202
Published: December 2009
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 1.06