A holistic frame-of-reference for modelling social systems

Sice, Petia and French, Ian (2006) A holistic frame-of-reference for modelling social systems. Kybernetes. The International Journal of Systems & Cybernetics, 35 (6). pp. 851-864. ISSN 0368-492X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03684920610662638

Abstract

Purpose - To outline a philosophical system of inquiry that may be used as a frame-of-reference for modelling social systems. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on insights from cognitive science, autopoiesis, management cybernetics and non-linear dynamics. Findings - The outcome of this paper is an outline of a frame-of-reference to be used as a starting point (or a frame of orientation) for any problem solving/modelling intent or act. The framework highlights the importance of epistemological reflection and the need to avoid any separation of the process of knowing from that of modelling. It also emphasises the importance of inquiry into the assumptions that underpin the methods, tools and techniques that we employ, and into the tacit beliefs of the human actors who use them. Research limitations/implications - The presented frame-of-reference should be regarded as an evolving system of inquiry, one that seeks to incorporate contemporary human insight. Practical implications - Exactly, how the frame-of-reference presented in this paper should be exploited within an organisational or educational context, is a question to which there is no single "correct" answer. What is primarily important, however, is that it should be used to raise the profile of, and disseminate the benefits that accrue from, inquiry which goes beyond the simple application of tools and methods. Originality/value - This paper proposes a new framework-of-reference for modelling social systems that draws on insights from cognitive science, autopoiesis, management cybernetics and non-linear dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cybernetics; Modelling; Social dynamics
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 16:21
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:34
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/19998

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