Viable Boundary Critique
Journal of Operational Research Society. January, Vol. 51, pp. 1-12, 2007
20 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2009
Date Written: 2001
Issue-based problem situations can often be seen as conflicts that must be managed or resolved. Boundary critique theory, developed by Midgley as part of critical systems thinking, can be used to model conflicts. However, its utility can be enhanced when it is linked to the cybernetic theory of viable systems, thus creating viable boundary critique analysis. Boundary critique can provide an ethical analysis that can explore the meanings and processes associated with conflicts. Viable boundary critique enables differentiable social pluralities to be better explored, and provides a broader space for the consideration of political and ideological attrib-utes of conflict that develops beyond Midgley's ethical analysis. It also provides for a new way of defining and measuring power. It also provides for new ways of defining and measuring power. A number of characteristics of boundary critique are considered in the context of a case study relating to the recent Liverpool dock strike.
Keywords: Boundary critique, critical systems thinking, cybernetics, viable systems, conflict
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