C. West Churchman: Champion of the Systems Approach
11 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2008
Briefly summarizes C.West Churchman's professional evolution and some of his key ideas.
C. West Churchman was educated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philosophy, and studied under the world‐renown philosopher, E.A. Singer. Although his contributions are many, as he has written hundreds of articles, books, and proceedings, he is primarily known for being a founder and champion of the “systems approach” (a holistic, scientific approach to systems planning). To become acquainted with Churchman’s ideas, it is important to briefly address his conceptual evolution, then to broadly introduce the systems approach using three books: The Systems Approach (1969), Designing inquiring Systems (1971), and The Systems Approach and Its Enemies (1979). A wide range of scholars have been influenced by Churchman, including Russell Ackoff, Peter Checkland, and Werner Ulrich, and they will be briefly discussed.
Keywords: Churchman, systems approach, inquiring systems
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