A Sustainable System-of-Systems Approach: Identifying the Important Boundaries for a Target System in Human Factors and Ergonomics

  • Andrew Thatcher
  • Paul H. P. Yeow


The problems now facing humanity are complex and rapidly evolving. In fact, these problems even threaten our very existence as a species. The sustainable system-of-systems model, which has been developed to help characterise the various different levels of human factors and ergonomics approaches to dealing with these problems, is explained and critiqued this chapter. We then look at the various possible ways to address the “fuzzy boundary” problem of complex adaptive systems for human factors and ergonomics. These possible solutions include the Pareto Principle, Stakeholder Salience Theory, Soft Systems Methodology, and Network Theory. The example of the design of a green building workplace layout is used to illustrate the concepts. The chapter concludes with a critique of what we consider to be the most promising of these solutions at present, the Network Theory.


Stakeholder Salience Theory Soft Systems Methodology Network Theory Sustainable system-of-systems Green buildings 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Thatcher
    • 1
  • Paul H. P. Yeow
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of BusinessMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia

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