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Systems, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Systems Research and the Quest for Scientific Systems Principles
Systems 2017, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/systems5020025
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
Systems Research formally originated in the 1950s, but a scientific understanding of systemness is still nascent. This shortcoming produces significant risks for complex systems engineering and practice. Current “systems principles” are qualitative heuristics, and systems science is scientific more in attitude than because
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Systems Research formally originated in the 1950s, but a scientific understanding of systemness is still nascent. This shortcoming produces significant risks for complex systems engineering and practice. Current “systems principles” are qualitative heuristics, and systems science is scientific more in attitude than because of any grounding in systems principles employing clear and quantifiable concepts. In this paper, I propose that a model of how principles and laws are understood across the specialized sciences can, when applied to systems science, open up new ways to discover systems principles. This approach has led to the identification of six new avenues for discovering systems principles. In this paper I explain one of these research avenues (which leverages the maturation profile of the specialized sciences) in detail, and reference active projects to pursue others. The research approach advocated in this paper has the potential to lead to a new perspective on the nature of and relationship between systems science and systems engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Mongolia, Modernity, Systems + Solutions: Questing Holistic Design + Planning Strategies for a Brighter Tomorrow
Systems 2017, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/systems5020026
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
Mongolia is a unique nation underpinned by rich history, spectacular landscapes, rich culture and deep spirituality. It is also a country grappling with change, modernization, growth and governance. The author has been extensively engaged, over many years, in research and consulting in this
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Mongolia is a unique nation underpinned by rich history, spectacular landscapes, rich culture and deep spirituality. It is also a country grappling with change, modernization, growth and governance. The author has been extensively engaged, over many years, in research and consulting in this interesting milieu, including architectural design, city planning, informal settlements and poverty reduction. Building from an innovative integrative framework (Sinclair 2009) for design and planning, the present paper explores the challenges of realizing progress in Mongolia through the lens of systems thinking. In particular, the author critically examines parameters that inform and inspire the development of guidelines to aid in more effective reconsideration, reform and redesign of the urban fabric. A key dimension of the research centers on ethnographic methods, with sensitivities focused on the needs, desires and aspirations of the local community. Many efforts to modernize, advance and develop nations are hamstrung through fragmentation, specialization, narrow agendas and an inability to see the broader picture. The current speculative proposition aims to connect the dots—intentionally pursuing interdisciplinary and interconnected ways of seeing, thinking and acting. While not directly providing answers to questions about the next steps on Mongolia’s path, the author builds and delineates ways of knowing that can support such answers and inform such steps. The main goal of the paper is to consider the complicated ethos in more systemic, holistic, overarching and impactful ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Social Systems: Theory And Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Regional Innovation System’s Absorptive Capacity: The Approach of a Smart Region in a Small Country
Systems 2017, 5(2), 27; doi:10.3390/systems5020027
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
Vitality of a smart region depends on the network of closely interconnected actors (individuals and institutions) seeking common goals of development and their capacities to ensure effective knowledge creation and exploitation. This network (a regional innovation system (RIS)) empowers processes of absorptive capacity—knowledge
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Vitality of a smart region depends on the network of closely interconnected actors (individuals and institutions) seeking common goals of development and their capacities to ensure effective knowledge creation and exploitation. This network (a regional innovation system (RIS)) empowers processes of absorptive capacity—knowledge access, anchoring and diffusion, contributing to regional innovativeness and competitiveness. Absorptive capacity is considered an important object of scientific research. However, there is still a lack of research providing specific tools that are adaptable for assessing the regional absorptive capacity in a small country. Existing differences among countries and even regions inside a small country require adjusted and modified methods and instruments. Consequently, the goal of this research is to present and substantiate the methodological approach of assessing the RIS's absorptive capacity giving evidence from a smart region (Kaunas County) of a small country (Lithuania). The mixed-method approach of the research (combining qualitative and quantitative research strategies) was used to substantiate the presented methodological approach. A smart region of a small country can be characterized by a denser institutional infrastructure and higher results (outcomes) of innovative activities. Smartness of the region can be understood as a consequence of the higher level of absorptive capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Regions as Systems of Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle Structure and Superstructures in Complex Social Systems
Systems 2017, 5(2), 28; doi:10.3390/systems5020028
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
In classical sociology, there is a sharp separation between the superstructure reflecting cultural ideals and the concrete Structural Base (SB). The authors hypothesize a Doxical Superstructure (DS) in its own space at a higher level, containing concepts such as completeness, necessity and possibility
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In classical sociology, there is a sharp separation between the superstructure reflecting cultural ideals and the concrete Structural Base (SB). The authors hypothesize a Doxical Superstructure (DS) in its own space at a higher level, containing concepts such as completeness, necessity and possibility associated with abstract concepts like beliefs, ethics, knowledge, relations and science. The DS or image (DS-image) is defined as the “explanation” (for the Subject-agent) of the Structural Base. A Mythical Superstructure (MS) is defined as a third superstructure. An analysis is carried out on the Structural Base. Concepts or denotative significances (d-significances) are defined for SB deontic relations. Alethic properties (existence, completeness, possibility and necessity) and deontic properties (permission, obligation and choice) of deontic relations are introduced, defined, and examined in relation to the Ideological Doxical Superstructure (IDS), including Meinong objects (thoughts, feelings and desires). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Social Systems: Theory And Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Application of System Dynamics to Evaluate the Social and Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Projects
Systems 2017, 5(2), 29; doi:10.3390/systems5020029
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is often employed to inform decision makers about the desirability of transport infrastructure investment options. One of the main limitations of traditional CBA approaches is that they do not provide a dynamic view that explicitly illustrates the cost and benefit
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Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is often employed to inform decision makers about the desirability of transport infrastructure investment options. One of the main limitations of traditional CBA approaches is that they do not provide a dynamic view that explicitly illustrates the cost and benefit relationships between component entities over time. This paper addresses this issue by describing a System Dynamics (SD) approach that can perform transport infrastructure CBA through the application of systems thinking to develop a causal-loop model that can subsequently be operationalised into an executable stock-and-flow model. Execution of this model readily enables sensitivity analysis of infrastructure investment options and visualisation of the cost-benefit behaviour of each variant over time. The utility of the approach is illustrated through a case study, the Co Chien Bridge project in Vietnam, using a model that incorporates conventional economic metrics and factors that measure indirect project benefits, such as impact on gross domestic product, unemployment rate, and total taxes gained from affected economic sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approaches and Tools for Managing Complexity)
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Open AccessArticle Reaction Networks as a Language for Systemic Modeling: On the Study of Structural Changes
Systems 2017, 5(2), 30; doi:10.3390/systems5020030
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Reaction Networks have been recently proposed as a framework for systems modeling due to its capability to describe many entities interacting in contextual ways and leading to the emergence of meta-structures. Since systems can be subjected to structural changes that not only alter
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Reaction Networks have been recently proposed as a framework for systems modeling due to its capability to describe many entities interacting in contextual ways and leading to the emergence of meta-structures. Since systems can be subjected to structural changes that not only alter their inner functioning, but also their underlying ontological features, a crucial issue is how to address these structural changes within a formal representational framework. When modeling systems using reaction networks, we find that three fundamentally different types of structural change are possible. The first corresponds to the usual notion of perturbation in dynamical systems, i.e., change in system’s state. The second corresponds to behavioral changes, i.e., changes not in the state of the system but on the properties of its behavioral rules. The third corresponds to radical structural changes, i.e., changes in the state-set structure and/or in reaction-set structure. In this article, we describe in detail the three types of structural changes that can occur in a reaction network, and how these changes relate to changes in the systems observable within this reaction network. In particular, we develop a decomposition theorem to partition a reaction network as a collection of dynamically independent modules, and show how such decomposition allows for precisely identifying the parts of the reaction network that are affected by a structural change. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication On the Complexity of the Universal Order in Vico’s Establishing Principles
Systems 2017, 5(2), 31; doi:10.3390/systems5020031
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
In his seminal work The Principles of a New Science of the Common Nature of Nations (Principii di una scienza nuova d’intorno alla natura delle nazioni, published in 1725 then again in 1730 and posthumously in 1744), Giambattista Vico (Born in 1668) wrote
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In his seminal work The Principles of a New Science of the Common Nature of Nations (Principii di una scienza nuova d’intorno alla natura delle nazioni, published in 1725 then again in 1730 and posthumously in 1744), Giambattista Vico (Born in 1668) wrote to qualify the scientific to include the humanities and their complexity beyond the popular Cartesian circumscription within the laws of physics—divinely instituted and set in motion—in describing its phenomena. The work is, for one, a manifesto of the essential complexity inherent in universal order, and against a reduction of scholarship to the pure sciences, in which elimination is key. Vico proposed a structure that afforded the organic integration of the humanities within the laws of physics as parts of “a tree of knowledge” whose trunk branched out into a progression toward certainty, drawn out of the most fluid humanities at the roots, in an order of premise and conclusion. The tree metaphor is the juncture of early moments of disparity and interdependence between complexity, on the one hand, and certainty on the other. Starting at the unknown, the immeasurably immense ultimate uncertainty, perception is shaped through fear, self-protection and subject to survival instincts. And so, crude metaphysics makes the trunk rooted in “poetic wisdom” with a natural mixture of limited sensuous cognition and unlimited imagination—or one striving beyond the fetters of immediate reality, logic, ethics, economics and politics which are all poetic sciences to Vico—branch out. On the other side of those branches, physics extends into chronology and geography—the most certain—in agreement that the faculties of the human mind, including imagination, may not be outside of physics: the trunk from whence all knowledge cometh, and by the laws of which life is governed. Past validating human uncertainty as a measure of complexity—not lack of knowledge—in scientific inquiry, key concepts in Vico’s The New Science, such as imagination, reason, creativity and science, maintain pressing relevance to examining complexity today, enabling consideration of their relevance between Vico’s time and today, while maintaining that the uncertainty of imagination and the pragmatism of physics are but facets of the equally plausible constitution of a universal order. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Social Systems: Theory And Practice)
Open AccessArticle Service Ecosystems Supporting High Reliability Assets
Systems 2017, 5(2), 32; doi:10.3390/systems5020032
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
The owners/operators of complex assets such as production systems, military equipment and power stations aim to achieve high reliability with financial sustainability over long periods of time, and rely on a combination of internal and external socio-technical support systems to achieve this. Changes
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The owners/operators of complex assets such as production systems, military equipment and power stations aim to achieve high reliability with financial sustainability over long periods of time, and rely on a combination of internal and external socio-technical support systems to achieve this. Changes in the operational environment and technological advances may stimulate the need/opportunity for innovative reconfiguration of the assets and/or the related support systems. These assets and their support arrangements may be regarded as elements of a broader industry ecosystem. Drawing on analogies with natural ecosystems suggested in the literature, a concept of a service ecosystem is presented. Ten service system, management, engineering and design (SSMED) concepts elaborated by Spohrer and Kwan are represented in operational terms by interlinked networks of actors, of resources and of activities whose interconnections may change dynamically, combined with a business model perspective that indicates why particular configurations might make sense. Six support system case studies illustrate how effective service ecosystems are informed by multiple viewpoints including reliability assurance, business models and linkages with context-specific knowledge networks to stimulate the identification of innovative support solution architectures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Developing a Framework for Traceability Implementation in the Textile Supply Chain
Systems 2017, 5(2), 33; doi:10.3390/systems5020033
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Traceability has recently gained considerable attention in the textile industry. Traceability stands for information sharing about a product including the product history, specification, or location. With the involvement of globally dispersed actors in the textile supply chain, ensuring appropriate product quality with timely
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Traceability has recently gained considerable attention in the textile industry. Traceability stands for information sharing about a product including the product history, specification, or location. With the involvement of globally dispersed actors in the textile supply chain, ensuring appropriate product quality with timely supplies is crucial for surviving in this industry with ever increasing competition. Hence it is of paramount importance for a supply chain actor to track every product and trace its history in the supply chain. In this context, this paper presents a framework to implement traceability in the textile supply chain. A system approach has been followed, where firstly the usage requirement of traceability is defined, and then a framework for implementing intra-actor or internal traceability and inter-actor or external traceability is discussed. This article further presents a sequential diagram to demonstrate the interaction and information exchange between the actors in the supply chain, when the traceability information is requested. An example is also illustrated for data storage using a relational database management system and information exchange using XML for the textile weaver. Finally, the article discusses challenges and future studies required to implement traceability in the textile supply chain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Proposing a Process-Oriented Systems Research for Systems Thinking Development
Systems 2017, 5(2), 34; doi:10.3390/systems5020034
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper discusses systems thinking development from Churchman’s systems ideas related to critical systems practice that appreciates the use of systems methods from sociolinguistic perspectives and poststructuralist thought. Systems research enabled us to understand and reinterpret Churchman’s philosophy and systems approach through the
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This paper discusses systems thinking development from Churchman’s systems ideas related to critical systems practice that appreciates the use of systems methods from sociolinguistic perspectives and poststructuralist thought. Systems research enabled us to understand and reinterpret Churchman’s philosophy and systems approach through the works of Deleuze and Foucault. Based upon the interpretation of Churchman’s philosophy and systems approach, I propose ‘process-oriented systems research’ developed from the use of social appreciative process and Churchman’s metasystem approach. By applying a metasystem approach into practice, I basically appreciate Deleuzian ethics and Foucault’s theory of discourse in order to deal with issues of power and knowledge, and metaethics or moral epistemology, where the meaning of good or bad is discussed. A detailed account of an application of process-oriented systems research is given to demonstrate how I use systems methods to examine the usefulness of the systems research in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle The Re-Conceptualization of the Port Supply Chain as a Smart Port Service System: The Case of the Port of Salerno
Systems 2017, 5(2), 35; doi:10.3390/systems5020035
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes a re-conceptualization of the port supply chain as a smart service system, in accordance with the theory of service science. Starting from a short literature review about the port supply chain approach and service science, a new comprehensive framework is
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This paper proposes a re-conceptualization of the port supply chain as a smart service system, in accordance with the theory of service science. Starting from a short literature review about the port supply chain approach and service science, a new comprehensive framework is provided to better understand seaport dynamics and the creation of competitive port supply chains. The methodology used is the case study approach. The Authors examined the Port of Salerno (Italy) and re-conceptualized it as a smart port service system. The originality of the work lies in the application of service science as a lens to re-conceptualize the port supply chain, that allows the implementation of a logistic framework. Both theoretical and practical implications are provided to enrich the literature about port supply chains and to support port operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Inside Out: Organizations as Service Systems Equipped with Relational Boundaries
Systems 2017, 5(2), 36; doi:10.3390/systems5020036
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
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Abstract
Currently, literature on organizational boundaries is at the center of a heated debate, characterized by a shift from a transactional approach to a broader immaterial perspective centered on the concept of boundless organizations. However, the overestimation of the effects of contemporary dematerialization on
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Currently, literature on organizational boundaries is at the center of a heated debate, characterized by a shift from a transactional approach to a broader immaterial perspective centered on the concept of boundless organizations. However, the overestimation of the effects of contemporary dematerialization on business processes can lead to the progressive neglect of the existence of corporate borders. In light of this consideration, the present work aims at proposing a new type of criterion for defining organizational boundaries, halfway between the conception of the firm’s total openness and total closure. To this end, the authors envisage the use of a new interpretive logic defined as “relational”, resulting from the specification of the systemic view (and as the sum of the logic underlying the viable systems approach (VSA)). This approach views the definition of boundaries. Therefore, in the large and intricate scenery of the studies dedicated to organizational boundaries, this work contributes to a better understanding of border selection as an interactive and changeable process capable of pushing organizations towards a greater awareness of their strategic dimension. This paper also offers some insights for future research, suggesting that both scholars and professionals investigate, firstly, new frontiers for the identification of organizational boundaries and, secondly, the possible positive repercussions that new organizational redesign modes could determine for a greater competitive success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Service Innovations in the Healthcare Service Ecosystem: A Case Study
Systems 2017, 5(2), 37; doi:10.3390/systems5020037
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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Abstract
In the service economy, scholars and practitioners are even more focused on the development and appliance of innovative services. The importance of service innovation is rising in many sectors and among different organizations. Several disciplines (e.g., marketing, management, operations research, etc.) deal with
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In the service economy, scholars and practitioners are even more focused on the development and appliance of innovative services. The importance of service innovation is rising in many sectors and among different organizations. Several disciplines (e.g., marketing, management, operations research, etc.) deal with this innovation, a concept widely used, but with different definitions. In this paper, service innovation has been analyzed according to the Service Dominant Logic (S-D Logic) and a service ecosystem perspective. The literature still calls for a greater understanding of how a new or renewed combination of resources affects the shaping of service ecosystems. To contribute to filling this gap, this study explores the practices that different actors, enact to co-create value in novel ways; i.e., service innovation. The paper is structured as follows. In the first section, the main academic contributions on service research have been reviewed, focusing on healthcare service innovation. This is followed by the research method and discussion of the research findings. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications have been detailed and an agenda for future research suggested. The paper offers interesting insights to develop new or renewed practices that foster the reshaping and maintaining of a healthcare service ecosystem. Some recommendations are included to support managers in the development of service innovation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
Open AccessArticle The Actor: The Key Determinator in Service Ecosystems
Systems 2017, 5(2), 38; doi:10.3390/systems5020038
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Most descriptions of service ecosystems, which provide the foundations for value co-creation, focus on resource integration. In contrast, this article emphasizes the actor’s key role as the foundation resource for value co-creation by looking at both societal- and individual-focused realms, which include the
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Most descriptions of service ecosystems, which provide the foundations for value co-creation, focus on resource integration. In contrast, this article emphasizes the actor’s key role as the foundation resource for value co-creation by looking at both societal- and individual-focused realms, which include the different social aspects of service ecosystems. Institutional arrangements, positions, schemas as mental models, and practices constitute the basis realms influencing the actor in his or her value creation. Societal- and individual-focused realms are dual structures that are in constant interaction. The interdependency of the realms is made apparent through the service ecosystem’s ability to define how resources are understood, assessed, and applied. A thorough examination of the realms that influence the actors embedded in service ecosystems suggests that social forces guide and are guided by actors. This article offers six guidelines for understanding the vital role of actors in service ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Communities of Practice as Systems: The Case of TEALEAF
Systems 2017, 5(2), 39; doi:10.3390/systems5020039
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
This work provides an update to the Erasmus Plus TEALEAF project. The outcomes of a week-long EU-funded/Irish Government-recognized teacher course in July 2016 is described within the context of a qualitative small-scale study investigating teachers’ progress in the course. The explicit aim of
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This work provides an update to the Erasmus Plus TEALEAF project. The outcomes of a week-long EU-funded/Irish Government-recognized teacher course in July 2016 is described within the context of a qualitative small-scale study investigating teachers’ progress in the course. The explicit aim of the teacher course was to equip a diverse group of teachers with the initial tools to work to produce simple digital apps for learning about biodiversity in their respective domains. A community of practice seeks to establish a new concept of the pre-existing generalised collective conscience through triangulated conversation between the generalised and particularised collective and individual consciences; in particular, to revise the generalised collective conscience that teachers can program apps for learning about biodiversity. A number of features of teaching and learning were selected in general and their relationship to constructivism delineated. The teachers were prompted for their responses to each day of the course through a self-evaluation tool and the responses were ranked according to the rubric. The data was analyzed using multidimensional scaling—ASCAL procedure—in SPSS 23TM and within the repertory grid domain according to the RepSocio tool in Rep 5TM. The plots show a gradual development throughout the week in terms of specific features becoming ‘stronger’ or exerting more influence towards the middle of the course and fragmenting after that. Analyses were able to show which participants correlated most closely with the hypothetical ideal within the community of practice. Concerning this community of practice, the interrelationships within the community are determined using a social mapping exercise moving from the individual consciences to a particularised collective conscience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Social Systems: Theory And Practice)
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Methodological Approach to Complex Problem Solving: The Case of Serbian Enterprise
Systems 2017, 5(2), 40; doi:10.3390/systems5020040
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
Increasing complexity and diversity of management problems in modern enterprises requires the increasing diversity of models, methods, and methodologies. In creatively dealing with these complex, changeable and multidimensional management problems, i.e., problem situations, different systems methodologies for problem situations, structuring have been developed.
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Increasing complexity and diversity of management problems in modern enterprises requires the increasing diversity of models, methods, and methodologies. In creatively dealing with these complex, changeable and multidimensional management problems, i.e., problem situations, different systems methodologies for problem situations, structuring have been developed. Since no methodology is able to explore all aspects of the complex problems in enterprises, the topic of this paper is a multi-methodology approach that implies combining selected systems methodologies (Strategic Assumptions Surfacing and Testing, Team Syntegrity and Organizational Cybernetics) within a particular intervention. Therefore, research in the paper is relied on Critical Systems Thinking as a conceptual framework for combined use of systems methodologies. The paper aims to demonstrate how mixing the selected systems methodologies and tools can help managers in solving complex problems, such as the issues of strategy formulation and implementation in enterprises. Accordingly, combining these methodologies to support strategy formulation and implementation is applied to a Serbian enterprise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approaches and Tools for Managing Complexity)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Sustainability Key Factors Based on Capturing Dominant Feedbacks of Behavioural Stereotypes in Socio-Economic Systems
Systems 2017, 5(2), 42; doi:10.3390/systems5020042
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability represents a system attribute that is widely investigated in many disciplines. System dynamics is mostly used for modelling specific issues. Not only can this methodology be used for this purpose, it can also be applied for the identification of behavioural stereotypes and
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Sustainability represents a system attribute that is widely investigated in many disciplines. System dynamics is mostly used for modelling specific issues. Not only can this methodology be used for this purpose, it can also be applied for the identification of behavioural stereotypes and consequent designation of variables that shape sustainability of the system. Based on the set of interviews with a sample of socio-economic system representatives, stereotypes are captured and modelled with the help of causal loop diagrams. After several modelling iterations that synchronised the acquired models with the obtained responses, four main key stereotypes were identified-quality, ego, competence, and motivation. Both dominant feedback loops and important multi-input and multi-output variables are used for their description. Thus, the models provide an endogenous explanation of their importance for sustainability and help to identify its key factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership for Sustainable Socio-Ecological Systems)
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Open AccessConcept Paper A Systems Model to Make, Market, and Lead Your Way towards Sustained Growth
Systems 2017, 5(2), 41; doi:10.3390/systems5020041
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
Business enterprises exist in a world that is fiercely competitive, tied with huge global uncertainties. They always encounter increasing pressure on prices and margins. Hence, irrespective of their domain of operations and industry, businesses are naturally concerned about their growth, specifically sustained profitable
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Business enterprises exist in a world that is fiercely competitive, tied with huge global uncertainties. They always encounter increasing pressure on prices and margins. Hence, irrespective of their domain of operations and industry, businesses are naturally concerned about their growth, specifically sustained profitable growth, in today’s world. Marketing is a key business function to market and lead a business towards sustained profitable growth but the problem is it lacks a systems perspective in its operations, strategy, and practice. Further, given the confluence and systemic interactions of various economic, digital, and competitive forces; the challenge for different business functions—including marketing—increases tremendously. In this context, it is important for business enterprises to have a systems perspective to find their ways to growth that will be sustained. This calls for a holistic approach to assimilate and steer the business functions in any enterprise. The present conceptual paper focuses on an important business function for sustained growth in a holistic way and presents a systems model, called ‘Value Based Business Approach (VBBA)-marketing’, which has potential to guide and steer companies and business enterprises to create a path for their sustained profitable growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership for Sustainable Socio-Ecological Systems)
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