The origins and purposes of several traditions in systems theory and cybernetics – Umpleby and Dent, February 1999

…and the companion paper

 

Source: The origins and purposes of several traditions in systems theory and cybernetics

Download pdf: http://www.acasa.upenn.edu/Ump_Final.pdf
Abstract
The story of systems theory and cybernetics is a story of several research traditions all of which originated in the mid 20th century. Systems ideas emerged in a variety of locations and for different reasons. As a result the ideas were developed in relative isolation and emerged with different emphases. This paper discusses the books and people, conferences and institutes, and politics and technology that have influenced the systems movement. The schools of thought presented are general systems theory, the systems approach, operations research, system dynamics, learning organizations, total quality management, and cybernetics. Three points-of-view within cybernetics are discussed. Total quality management is a new addition to the list, but we feel it is appropriate because of its extensive use of systems ideas. This paper does not address artificial intelligence, complexity theory, family therapy, or other traditions which might have been included.