Foreword; W. Buckley. Introduction; F. Parra-Luna. Part I: A World of Values. 1. Systems thinking and human values: towards understanding performance in organizations; M.L.W. Hall. 2. The role of values in measuring performance of social systems; B. Buchanan. 3. Towards an axiological systems theory; F. Parra-Luna. Part II: Some Models for Defining Social Performance. 4. Some problems in the observation of performance; G. de Zeeuw. 5. The resolution of dilemmas and conflicts in approaching the performance of social systems through representation, evaluation and quantification; J. van Gigch. 6. A model for measuring the performance of social systems; F. Parra-Luna. 7. The potentialities of the sociocybernetic model in assessing political performance in non-stable society; P. Nicolopoulos. 8. Criteria of systems performance from a macro-sociological viewpoint; K.-H. Simon. 9. Distributed control in social systems; M. Schawaninger. 10. Space of state and performance's optimization: lessons of Russians' failures; V. Degtiar. 11. Conditions for testing performance; I. Bálsamo. Part III: Operational Approaches to the Concept of Social Performance. 12. Environmental balance and the performance of social systems; A. Sánchez Súcar. 13. The performance of education systems; R. Vanderstraeten. 14. Performance of health care units and the influence of management; F. Tretter. 15. Indicators of social performance in the heartland of the United States;D. Menanteau-Horta. 16. Global modeling and international performance; M.P. Byron. 17. Ther performance of the world system: a critical viewpoint; J.-L. Elohim. 18. An exploration into the measurement of social efficiency on the Internet; M. García Jara. Index.
It can be said that the concept of performance of social systems is one of the most relevant, since all social systems - from the family, through the enterprise, to the Nation state - are only interesting in obtaining as high a performance as possible. The difficulties encountered when dealing with the concept of performance have been recognized and few books until now ventured to tackle the task, mainly because of the following three big problems: the lack of a theoretical-operational model; the lack of valid data; and the lack of computer facilities. Today these obstacles have been overcome and this is the first book based on different systemic perspectives (value theory, modelling, observation and quantification) which offers the possibility of defining and working out the concept.
The book should be of great interest to sociologists, political scientists, economists, organizational theorists, managers and politicians.
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