Why Does Systems Thinking Matter?
Università di Palermo
May 1, 2012
Business Systems Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.1-2, 2012
The social and economic complexity of our times triggers intense transformations in the competitive logics of markets and, broadly speaking, of business systems. Business scenarios today are typified by dynamism, connectivity, nonlinearity, and emergent properties — in other words by “complexity.”
Asserting that the world, and consequently business systems, are complex means that it is impossible to understand them by considering their individual elements separately, and that there is no option of predicting the future, but only of grasping and proactively influencing future scenarios.
Reductionist models are unable to fully depict, or to allow us to deeply understand, new complex and dynamic business scenarios. Today more than ever, it is necessary to recognize the need for a paradigm shift that can carry science beyond the analytical reductionist approach, and towards a more comprehensive systemic perspective.
This, of course, does not imply rejecting all the discoveries and benefits that the reductionist approach has brought to science, but it does mean going further, being aware that the analytic way alone is not sufficient for obtaining a deeper understanding of complex phenomena. Hence, without rejecting the old paradigm, we must move ahead to embrace a systemic view of social and economic facts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 2
Keywords: Complexity, Systems Thinking, Systemic Approach, Business Science
JEL Classification: M00Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 26, 2012 ; Last revised: September 3, 2012
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