Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking

Managing Chaos and Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture

3rd Edition - June 29, 2011

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  • Author: Jamshid Gharajedaghi
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123859167
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123859150

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Systems Thinking, Third Edition combines systems theory and interactive design to provide an operational methodology for defining problems and designing solutions in an environment increasingly characterized by chaos and complexity. This new edition has been updated to include all new chapters on self-organizing systems as well as holistic, operational, and design thinking. The book covers recent crises in financial systems and job markets, the housing bubble, and environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking. A companion website is available at This volume is ideal for senior executives as well as for chief information/operating officers and other executives charged with systems management and process improvement. It may also be a helpful resource for IT/MBA students and academics.

Key Features

  • Four NEW chapters on self-organizing systems, holistic thinking, operational thinking, and design thinking
  • Covers the recent crises in financial systems and job markets globally, the housing bubble, and the environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking
  • Companion website to accompany the book is available at


Senior executives; Chief Information/Operating Officers and other executives charged with systems management and process improvement. IT/MBA students and academics

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. How the Game Is Evolving

    1.1. Imitation

    1.2. Inertia

    1.3. Suboptimization

    1.4. Change of the game

    1.5. Shift of paradigm

    1.6. Interdependency and choice

    1.7. On the nature of inquiry

    1.8. The competitive games


    Chapter Two. Systems Principles

    2.1. Openness

    2.2. Purposefulness

    2.3. Multidimensionality

    2.4. Emergent property

    2.5. Counterintuitive behavior

    Chapter three. Sociocultural System

    3.1. Self-organization: movement toward a predefined order

    3.2. Information-bonded systems

    3.3. Culture

    3.4. Social learning

    3.5. Culture as an operating system

    Chapter four. Development

    4.1. Schematic view of theoretical traditions

    4.2. Systems view of development

    4.3. Obstruction to development


    Chapter five. Holistic Thinking

    5.1. Iterative process of inquiry

    5.2. Systems dimensions

    Chapter six. Operational Thinking

    6.1. Complexity

    6.2. Operational thinking, the ithink language

    6.3. Dynamics of throughput systems

    Chapter Seven. Design Thinking

    7.1. Design thinking, as the systems methodology

    7.2. Operating principles of design thinking

    7.3. Modular design

    7.4. Design and process of social change

    7.5. Interactive design

    7.6. Critical design elements

    Chapter eight. Formulating the Mess

    8.1. Searching

    8.2. Mapping the mess

    8.3. Telling the story

    8.4. The present mess

    8.5. Current crisis and future challenges

    Chapter nine. Business Architecture

    9.1. The system's boundary and business environment

    9.2. Purpose

    9.3. Functions

    9.4. Structure

    9.5. Processes


    Chapter ten. The Oneida Nation

    10.1. Desired Specifications

    10.2. Systems architecture

    10.3. Governance

    10.4. Membership systems

    10.5. Learning systems

    10.6. Business systems

    10.7. Core services

    10.8. External environment

    10.9. Judicial system

    Chapter 11. Butterworth Health System

    11.1. Issues, concerns, and expectations

    11.2. Design specifications

    11.3. The architecture

    11.4. Market dimension

    11.5. Care system

    11.6. Output dimension

    11.7. Core knowledge

    11.8. Shared services

    11.9. Health delivery system, core knowledge, and care system interactions

    11.10. The executive office

    11.11. Recap

    Chapter twelve. The Marriott Corporation

    12.1. The environment: how the game is evolving

    12.2. Purpose

    12.3. The architecture

    12.4. Recap

    Chapter 13. Commonwealth Energy System

    13.1. Stakeholders' expectations

    13.2. Business environment

    13.3. Design

    13.4. General architecture

    13.5. Core business units: gas and electricity distribution

    13.6. Technology/supply-oriented business units: energy generation and supply

    13.7. Energy brokerage and international operations

    13.8. Shared services (performance centers)

    13.9. Executive office

    Chapter froteen. Carrier Corporation

    14.1. Expectations, assumptions, and specifications

    14.2. Core values

    14.3. Systems architecture

    14.4. Markets

    14.5. Output units

    14.6. Components

    14.7. Inputs

    14.8. Business processes

Product details

  • No. of pages: 376
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2011
  • Published: June 29, 2011
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123859167
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123859150

About the Author

Jamshid Gharajedaghi

Affiliations and Expertise

President and CEO, InteractDesign, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

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  • Augustine H. Wed Oct 13 2021

    Systems thinking

    Never found such a holistic analysis of database's important variables to help govern the power domains in leadership avenues. Such information from the knowledge economy is however best shared than monopolized for without collaboration too much in depth comprehensive grasp of complexity is best singularly marshalled.