Special Issue "Systems Approaches and Tools for Managing Complexity"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Nam Nguyen

1. Director Australia and Southeast Asia, Malik Institute, St. Gallen, Switzerland
2. Hon. Fellow, The University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide, Australia
Website1 | Website2 | E-Mail
Interests: systems thinking; Malik SuperSyntegration (MSS); Malik management systems; systems design and complexity management; systems-based evolutionary learning laboratory (ELLab) framework; systems tools (causal loop diagrams, systems archetypes, Bayesian belief network, sensitivity model); integration; community-based research; participatory approaches; user-friendly decision support systems (crop choice, ELLab, Think2Impact); academic and executive training (including PhD supervision and MBA teaching)
Guest Editor
Dr. Constantin Malik

Exec. Director Global Relations and Development, Malik Institute, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: systems thinking; management cybernetics and bionics; systems modelling; systems design and complexity management; systems structure; city and urban dynamics; crowd psychology and crowd dynamics
Guest Editor
Dr. Thanh V. Nguyen

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam
Interests: systems thinking; economics; law; industrial economics management; integrated coastal management; marine spatial planning; conservation and management of biosphere reserves; urban mobility planning; sustainable development; green city; public security; governance and leadership
Co-Guest Editor
Mr. Tuan Ha

Researcher, Systems Design and Complexity Management Alliance, The University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Interests: community development; decision support systems; participatory action research; system dynamics modelling; systems thinking; transformative learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are living in an increasingly complex world, in which all economic, social, environmental, cultural and political factors and processes are evidently interconnected. Traditional problem-solving approaches through simple linear thinking and “quick fixes” that solve issues in isolation have posed various shortcomings, including failures, and even counterproductive consequences.

Complex problems in our constantly changing world require better approaches and supporting tools to help unravel such complexity, understand the context and identify interrelationships among different factors surrounding an issue under consideration. This process enables the identification of the root causes of a visible problem, systemic interplays among different factors and subsystems for developing informed, viable, feasible and sustainable solutions.

Recently, systems approaches and systems tools have been successfully applied in various areas and disciplines such as complexity management, community operational research, project management, education, business, environment, health, agriculture, agribusiness, governance, and sustainable development, etc. The successes have proven the value and validity of systems approaches and tools in coping with complexity around the world.

This Special Issue aims to update the use of both existing and emerging systems approaches and relevant tools in managing complexity in any area of interest.

The Special Issue seeks contributions that focus on, but not limited to, the followings:

  • Theoretical frameworks in dealing with complexity;
  • Systems thinking and problem structuring methods;
  • Utilising systems tools in solving complex problems;
  • Systems dynamics modelling and simulation.

We welcome papers that present approaches, frameworks, models, and case studies using systems approaches or tools in any area of application

Dr. Nam Nguyen
Dr. Constantin Malik
Dr. Thanh V. Nguyen
Guest Editors

Dr. Tuan Ha
Co-Guest Editors


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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • Complex problems
  • Systems design
  • Complexity management
  • Complexity sciences
  • Cybernetics
  • Management systems
  • Problem structuring
  • Simulation
  • Systems approaches/theories
  • System dynamics
  • Systems tools

Published Papers (1 paper)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-1
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessArticle Designing Computer-Supported Complex Systems Curricula for the Next Generation Science Standards in High School Science Classrooms
Systems 2016, 4(4), 38; doi:10.3390/systems4040038
Received: 28 August 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
PDF Full-text (2581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
We present a curriculum and instruction framework for computer-supported teaching and learning about complex systems in high school science classrooms. This work responds to a need in K-12 science education research and practice for the articulation of design features for classroom instruction that
[...] Read more.
We present a curriculum and instruction framework for computer-supported teaching and learning about complex systems in high school science classrooms. This work responds to a need in K-12 science education research and practice for the articulation of design features for classroom instruction that can address the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) recently launched in the USA. We outline the features of the framework, including curricular relevance, cognitively rich pedagogies, computational tools for teaching and learning, and the development of content expertise, and provide examples of how the framework is translated into practice. We follow this up with evidence from a preliminary study conducted with 10 teachers and 361 students, aimed at understanding the extent to which students learned from the activities. Results demonstrated gains in students’ complex systems understanding and biology content knowledge. In interviews, students identified influences of various aspects of the curriculum and instruction framework on their learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approaches and Tools for Managing Complexity)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A Multi-Methodological Approach to Complex Problem Solving: The Case of a Serbian Enterprise
Author: Dejana Zlatanović, Faculty of Economics, University of Kragujevac, Serbia
Abstract: Increasing complexity and diversity of management problems in modern enterprises require the increasing diversity of models, methods, methodologies. In creative 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 complex problems in enterprises, the topic of the 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 tools of selected systems methodologies can help managers in solving complex problems, such as the issues of strategy formulation and implementation in enterprises. Accordingly, a framework for combining these methodologies to support strategy formulation and implementation will be presented and applied to a Serbian enterprise.

Journal Contact

Systems Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Special Issue Edit a special issue Review for Systems
Back to Top