“A Systems Approach” and “Health Service Systems”: Time to Re-Think?

  • Peter B. Checkland
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 15)


The stucture of the meeting derived from a systems model of a Health Service System. Sessions were organized which covered the major sub-systems of that model and their interactions. This was extremely useful as a device which gave coherence to the discussions, but during the course of the meeting several participants questioned the usefulness of this kind of view, feeling it to be constraining. It is of course one thing to use a systems model to structure a discussion, quite another to assume a real-world Health Service to be the system described in the model. The former action does not necessarily imply the latter.


Problem Situation Soft System Methodology Relevant System Health Service System Hermeneutic Circle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    P.B. Checkland, “Rethinking a Systems Approach”, Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, 8, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P.B. Checkland, “Systems Thinking, Systems Practice”, John Wiley, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter B. Checkland
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LancasterUK

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