The theme ofthe conference at which the papers in this book were presented was'Systems Thinking in Europe'. Members of the United Kingdom Systems Society (UKSS) were conscious that the systems movementflourishes notonly in the UK, America and the Antipodes, but also in continental Europe, both East and West, and in the USSR, a nation increasingly being welcomed by the European comity. Membership of the UKSS had not perhaps had the opportunity, however, of hearing important new ideas from continental Europe, and this conference provided an opportunity to do so. Some interesting papers are to be found here from both the West and the East, if the editors may be forgiven for perpetuating what may be an increasingly irrelevant dichotomy. One lesson to be learned from this conference, though, is that systems thinking is truly international. This is not to say that there is one systems paradigm unifonnly applied, however. Perhaps the core of systems thinking is that one is interested in complex 'wholes' with emergent properties, to which cybernetic ideas can be applied. Examples of such systems thinking can be found in these proceedings, for example in the section entitled "Applications of Systems Thinking". Attempts to bring about change with these ideas, however, have given rise to a diversity of approaches, as is evidenced by the papers dealing with the application of methodologies in the 'hard' and 'soft' systems traditions.
Plenary Papers.- Transformation Theory.- Systems Approach as a Style: A Hermeneutics of Systems.- Action and Structure in Problem Solving.- Implementing Total Quality Management Through Total Systems Intervention: A Creative Approach to Problem Solving in Diagnostic Biotechnology (PTE)LTD.- Five Commitments of Critical Systems Thinking.- A Scenario-Based Approach to Strategic Information Systems Planning.- Information Management.- Applications of Systems Thinking.- The Design of European Industrial Systems: A Systemic Investigation.- Modelling Medica: A Technology Transfer Systems Approach to the Evaluation of a European Community Funded Research Project in Medical Informatics.- The Social System of National Health Care and System of Human Society.- Systems Thinking in Organizational Analysis and Design.- Theories of Autonomous Systems: A Comparative Analysis.- Cybernetic Aspects of Management Systems Engineering.- Systems Evolution in Modern Systems Research and a Formal Model for Evolving Systems.- Organizational Closure and the Quantum View of Organizations.- Landscape Ecology as an Operational Framework for Environmental GIS: Zdarske Vrchy, Czechoslovakia.- Introducing Geographical Information Systems into British Local Government: Developments in Kirklees Metropolitan District.- Taking Systems Thinking into Schools.- Health and Safety Legislation - Threat or Opportunity?.- Examination of the Concept of 'Key Factor for Success' from a Systems Thinking Perspective.- A Systematic Approach to Learning from Past Experiences in a Diagnostic Problem-Solving Environment.- Interdisciplinarity and Self-Organization in Computational Neuroepistemology: An Alternative Methodological Approach to Cognitive Science.- Systems Thinking in Poland.- Old Confusion in New European Systems Thinking.- A Unified Systems Hypothesis.- Applications of Methodology (Both Hard and Soft).- Systems Thinking and Investigation of Digestive Secretion.- Variable Receptive Field System Transformation and its Applications to Visual Field.- An Experimental Approach to the Description of Contour Segments Using the Fourier-Bessell Transform.- Self-Organization in Rural Economic System.- A System Dynamics Approach to Assessing the Impact of Management Information Systems.- Stella Modelling Process for a Manpower Strategy.- An Urbanistic Project Based on General Systems Theory.- Analysis and Design of Socio-Economic Systems.- Are all Failures Systems Failures?.- Use of the VSM to Assist in the Establishment of an Engineering Consortium.- How Can We Use a "Hard" Method in a "Soft" Way? Lessons Learnt from Cases using "Rating Chart Methods".- Untangling the Perception Web: A Methodology.- Untangling the Perception Web: An Application.- Systems Practice: An Application of "Soft" Systems Thinking in the Context of IS Planning for Small Business.- Soft Systems in Software Design.- A First Step Towards the Automation of SSM?.- The Need for Tool Support for Soft Systems.- Tools Supporting Soft Systems.- Problem Structuring and Critical Systems Thinking.- A Generic Model for Scenario Analysis and Modelling.- A Problem Structuring Method.- Levels of Problem Structuring and Problem Definitions.- A Multiple Criteria Approach to Complex Situations.- The Role of the Analyst and the Choice of Methodology.- The Use of Social Paradigms in the Analysis of Team Behaviour During Organizational Change.- A Brief Introduction to Complementarism.- Participatory Research: An Emancipatory Methodology for Systems Practice.- The Sacred and Profane in Critical Systems Thinking.- Critical Systems Thinking: Real Fiction?.- The Critical Systems Methodologies and the "Truth of Invariability".- Interpretive Critical Ideologies for Research Methodologies.- Community Operational Research and the New Public Health Movement.- Which Evaluation Methodology When? A Contingency Approach to Evaluation.- The Systematization of Practice.- Timeo Danaos et Dona Ferentes: A Philosophical-Cum-Epistemological
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