The Metasystem Paradigm: Applications

  • John P. van Gigch


The metasystem paradigm is used to study problems afflicting five complex systems: employment of the disabled, environmental pollution control in Japan, the U.S. income tax system, the reproductive health-care system, and the U.S. nuclear power industry. In each section, the authors identify the problems within the system, discuss the application of the metasystem paradigm, and determine the flow of rationalities and the system’s failures. The wide range of topics discussed herein vouches for the versatility of the methodology presented in this text.


Nuclear Regulatory Commission Outage Rate Personnel Department Environmental Pollution Control Evaluative Rationality 
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A. Employment of the Disabled

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    J. P. van Gigch, “The Metasystem Paradigm as a New Hierarchical Theory of Organizations,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for General Systems Research, New York, (1984); J. P. van Gigch, Decision Making About Decision Making: Metamodels and Metasystems (Abacus, Gordon and Breach, London, 1987).Google Scholar
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    S. Beer, Platform for Change (Wiley, New York, 1975); The Heart of Enterprise (Wiley, New York, 1979); Brain of the Firm, 2d ed. (Wiley, New York, 1981).Google Scholar

B. Environmental Pollution Control in Japan

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    W. J. M. Kickert, Organisation of Decision-Making (Amsterdam, North Holland, 1980).Google Scholar
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    B. A. Turner, Adm. Sci. 21, 378 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    M. Maruyama, Gen. Syst. 36, 41 (1981).Google Scholar

C. U.S. Tax System

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    U.S. Department of the Treasury, Explanation of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 for Individuals, Internal Revenue Service Publication 920 (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1987).Google Scholar
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    D. R. Smith, Across the Board 24, 46 (1987).Google Scholar
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    J. P. van Gigch, IEEE Trans. Reliab. R-35, 131 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    W. H. Weekes, Limitations of Accounting Models in the Evaluation of Private and Public Organizations, Proceedings of the Second National Evaluation Conference (University of Melbourne, Australia, 1984), 52–56.Google Scholar
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    U.S. Master Tax Guide 72nd Edition: 1989 Guide (Commerce Clearing House, Chicago, 1988).Google Scholar
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    W. Bradley, The Fair Tax (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1984).Google Scholar

D. Reproductive-Health-Care System

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    All quotation in this section are from the present text and lecture material.Google Scholar

E. The U.S. Nuclear Industry

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    Nucl. Eng. (1988).Google Scholar
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    “Court Clears Anti-Nuke Proposal for Ballot,” Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA, August 22, 1988.Google Scholar
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    Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Industrywide Nuclear Power Plant Performance Indicators (INPO, Atlanta, 1987).Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Loss of Power to the Integrated Control System Leading to an Overcooling Transient (INPO, Atlanta, 1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. van Gigch
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversitySacramentoUSA

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