Special Issue "Systems Thinking"

A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Cliff Whitcomb

Fellow, International Council on Systems Engineering;
Systems Engineering Department, Naval Postgraduate School, 1 University Circle, Monterey, CA 93943, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: systems engineering; systems thinking; multidisciplinary design; engineering competency development
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Heidi Davidz

Systems Engineering; Aerojet Rocketdyne, P.O. Box 109680, M/S 704-31, West Palm Beach, FL 33410-9680, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: systems engineering; systems thinking; systems engineering capability development; digital thread; systems pathology
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser

Professor of Strategy and Organization; School of Engineering, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Quellgasse 21 CH-2501 Biel; Dean of Studies BSc, Industrial Engineering and Management Science; Leader of the Research Group, Business Ecosystem Management (BEM); Deputy-Leader of the BFH-Centre for Energy Storage Research
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Business Models, Strategic Management, Simulation Methodology, Decision Making, Mental Models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Thinking is the “systematic transformation of mental representations of knowledge to characterize actual or possible states of the world, often in service of goals” (Holyoak and Morrison, 2012). Thinking relates to reasoning, judgment, decision making, and problem solving. Systems thinking can be broadly considered the activity of thinking applied in a systems context, forming a basis for fundamental approaches to several systems disciplines, including systems engineering, systems science, and system dynamics. Although these are somewhat distinct fields, they are bound by common approaches in regards to systems. Whereas systems engineering seeks to apply a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to the development of systems, systems science seeks to understand the basics related to systems of all kinds, from natural to man-made, and system dynamics seeks to understand systems from the basis of the dynamics involved.

As man-made systems become more ubiquitous and complex, and the study of natural systems present new challenges to understanding emergent, dynamic behaviors, the process of sense-making based on systems thinking becomes critical.

This Special Issue will focus on the nature of systems thinking as it applies to systems engineering, systems science, system dynamics, and related fields. Topics of interest related to systems thinking include:

  • Systems engineering
  • Systems science
  • System dynamics
  • Management
  • Social sciences
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Strategic approaches to problem solving
  • Complex systems and emergence
  • Systems thinking in education
  • Reasoning, judgment, decision-making, and problem solving based on systems thinking

Contributors are invited to present case studies, approaches, models and theoretical frameworks to deal with topics related to systems thinking for both academic, disciplinary, commercial, and industrial applications.

References

Holyoak, K.J.; Morrison, R.G. Thinking and reasoning: A reader’s guide. In Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning; Holyoak, K.J., Morrison, R.G., Eds.; Oxford University Press: New York, NY, USA, 2012.

Prof. Dr. Cliff Whitcomb
Dr. Heidi Davidz

Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Systems thinking
  • Systems engineering
  • Systems science
  • System dynamics
  • Design thinking for systems

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Using Systems Thinking to Understand and Enlarge Mental Models: Helping the Transition to a Sustainable World
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability and climate change are massive global problems that stem from the industrial world’s relentless pursuit of growth. Transitioning to a sustainable world requires understanding citizen mental models and our addiction to short-term rewards. This paper uses causal loop diagramming (CLD) to describe
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Sustainability and climate change are massive global problems that stem from the industrial world’s relentless pursuit of growth. Transitioning to a sustainable world requires understanding citizen mental models and our addiction to short-term rewards. This paper uses causal loop diagramming (CLD) to describe the general, prevailing citizen viewpoint and to propose a wider mental model that takes the natural world and sustainability into account. The corporate profit model that depicts the wider view acknowledges and describes the important impacts and influences of political pressure on our social, economic, and ecological systems. Adopting the wider mental model can help the industrialized world design better policy to achieve both national and United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On the Architecture of Systemology and the Typology of Its Principles
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
Systems engineering is increasingly challenged by the rising complexity of projects undertaken, resulting in increases in costs, failure rates, and negative unintended consequences. This has resulted in calls for more scientific principles to underpin the methods of systems engineering. In this paper, it
[...] Read more.
Systems engineering is increasingly challenged by the rising complexity of projects undertaken, resulting in increases in costs, failure rates, and negative unintended consequences. This has resulted in calls for more scientific principles to underpin the methods of systems engineering. In this paper, it is argued that our ability to improve systems Engineering’s methods depends on making the principles of systemology, of which systems engineering is a part, more diverse and more scientific. An architecture for systemology is introduced, which shows how the principles of systemology arise from interdependent processes spanning multiple disciplinary fields, and on this basis a typology is introduced, which can be used to classify systems principles and systems methods. This framework, consisting of an architecture and a typology, can be used to survey and classify the principles and methods currently in use in systemology, map vocabularies referring to them, identify key gaps, and expose opportunities for further development. It may, thus, serve as a tool for coordinating collaborative work towards advancing the scope and depth of systemology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking)
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