The Meaning of Failure as Applied to Human Systems: Characteristics for a Fourth Generation of Systems Methodologies
A methodology attempts to show you how to go about the basic business of responding to situations by planning and carrying out appropriate actions. The basic stages for the “man-of-action” are very obvious: some stimulus attracts your attention, you respond to it, and then you cope with the results of your response. The thinking person, however, tends to add an extra stage: the stimulus attracts your attention, you think about it and about possible responses, and only then do you respond to it and have to cope with the results. The systems person, being wholistic and purposeful, adds two further components—you keep looking over your shoulder at the systemic context of your actions, and you keep checking back to see that what you do relates clearly to what you set out to do, and whether that intention is still valid.
KeywordsWide System Prior Planning Root Definition Basic Business Extra Stage
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First Generation “Tactical” Methodology
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Second Generation “Strategic” Methodologies
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Third Generation “Soft Systems” Methodology
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