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Systems 2018, 6(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems6030029

Systems Thinking Education—Seeing the Forest through the Trees

1
Management of Technology Faculty, Holon Institute of Technology, Holon 58102, Israel
2
Program of Human Resource and Management, Ramat-Gan Academic College, Ramat-Gan 5227528, Israel
3
Industrial Engineering and Management Department, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking)
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Abstract

Systems thinking is an indispensable tool in comprehending and analyzing real-world phenomena. Observed processes are naturally composed of many interconnected components which ought to be studied jointly rather than individually. Engineering systems thinking is a very valuable skill, which helps to successfully execute multi-disciplinary projects. In high-tech companies that deal with complex and dynamic systems projects, the need for engineers with high systems thinking skills is growing. Engineers with high systems thinking skills are able to understand the big picture and the project in its entirety, both functionally and conceptually, without necessarily knowing all of the small details. Systems thinking enables understanding the entire system beyond its components, and clarifies the importance of the isolated component as part of the system as a whole. Systems thinking helps understand how sub-systems connect to one whole system, and provides solutions for the client’s specifications and requirements. In addition, systems thinking enables perceiving the inter-relationships and mutual influence among the system’s components and other systems. The current study examined the development of systems thinking among engineers and engineering students. In addition, the personality traits of engineers with high systems thinking skills were examined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type test. This article also presents the initial results of the development of a new systems thinking study course, taught as a pilot course to industrial and management engineering students. It seems that engineers with certain personality traits can acquire or improve their systems thinking capabilities through a gradual, long-term learning process and by acquiring the necessary tools. Additionally, the study includes recommendations for the continuation of ongoing research on developing systems thinking. View Full-Text
Keywords: system thinking; systems approach; capacity for systems thinking; Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type test system thinking; systems approach; capacity for systems thinking; Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type test
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Koral Kordova, S.; Frank, M.; Nissel Miller, A. Systems Thinking Education—Seeing the Forest through the Trees. Systems 2018, 6, 29.

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