SYSTEM (Purposeful) 1)4)
"(A system) which can produce the same outcome in different ways in the same – internal or external – state and can produce different outcomes in the same and different states" (R.L. ACKOFF, 1972).
Such systems may be equifinal.
R.L. ACKOFF explains: "Thus a purposefuful system is one which can change its goals under constant conditions; it selects ends as well as means and thus displays will. Human beings are the most familiar examples of such systems".
He adds: "A system which can choose between different outcomes can place different values on different outcomes" (1972, p.87).
This leads ACKOFF to the concept of ideal seeking system.
Pursuing this line of thought, W. ULRICH advocates for a "purposeful systems paradigm". This idea is synthetized by R.L. FLOOD and M.C. JACKSON: "… in a purposeful system, the ability to determine the purpose must be spread throughout the system; the system should produce knowledge relevant to purposes and encourage debate about purposes; and all plans or proposals for design should be critically assessed in terms of their normative content. Critical systems heuristics is about the design and assessment of purposeful systems" (1991, p.203).
This trend is now visible in S. BEER's Viable System Model; in J. WARFIELD's Generic Design; in the FUSCHL type Conversations; in J.A. JOHANNESSEN's Holographic model; in I.I MITROFF and H.A. LINSTONE's Unbounded System Thinking and in R.L. FLOOD and M.C. JACKSONS's Total Systems Intervention.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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