"The overal tensile stresses of the entire system" (S. BEER, 1994, p.13)
This neologism is a contraction of "Tensile (or tensional) Integrity", an expression related to BUCKMINSTER FULLER's geometrical concept of the general conditions of equilibrium of complex structures, based on structural relationships.
BEER writes: "According to this, the wholeness, the INTEGRITY of the structure is guaranteed not by the local compressive stresses where structural members are joined together, but by the overall tensile stresses of the entire system" (p.13).
Tensegrity allows the redistribution of tensions within a structure submitted to deformations, provided each element in the structure (generally speaking struts and wires) can bear both tensions or compressions. Some structures of this type can even shift from one shape to another in reaction to external pressure, while still maintaining their general characteristics.
S. BEER relates tensegrity to the general notion of logical (or organizational) closure. He derived his concept of Syntegrity, as applied to human teams from the tensegrity model.
For more about tensegrity, see R. CONNELLY and Allen BACK (1998, p.142-151) and Martin BROOKES (1999, p.43-46).
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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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