Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings”, edited by F. E. Emery (1969)

In brief. David Ing.

In reviewing the original introduction for Systems Thinking: Selected Readings in the 1969 Penguin paperback, there’s a few threads that I only recognize, many years later.

The tables of contents (disambiguating various editions) were previously listed as 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: SelectedReadings.

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In the selection of papers for this volume, two problems have arisen, namely what constitutes ‘systems thinking’, and what systems thinking is relevant to the thinking required for organizational management? The first problem is obviously critical. Unless there were a meaningful answer, there would be no sense in producing a volume of readings in systems thinking in any subject. A great many writers have manifestly believed that there is a way of considering phenomena which is sufficiently different from the well-established modes of scientific analysis to deserve the particular title of systems thinking. Reasons for believing that the distinction is of…

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