Special Issue "Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio
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Guest Editor
1. Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, 204 Rogers Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2. Chair of the Systems Science Working Group at INCOSE, 7670 Opportunity Rd, Suite 220, San Diego, CA 92111-2222, USA
Interests: integration of systems science into industrial and systems engineering; engineering of organization cultures; systemology; engineering management; system architecture
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Dr. David Rousseau
Website
Guest Editor
Director, Centre for Systems Philosophy, Surrey KTI5 1EL, UK; Past President, International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), 10 Batter Lane, Rawdon, Leeds LS19 6EU, UK
Interests: systemology; systems philosophy; systems science; general systems theory; exploratory science; worldviews; consciousness studies; ontology; natural moral law theory
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Every year, the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) convenes a conference where everyone with an interest in the field of systems can meet to present, discuss, and learn about new developments in our understanding or application of the systems sciences. The conference has a topical annual theme, but there is also a continuity of subject interests, as represented by the ISSS’s 24 “Special Integration Groups” (SIGs). 

This Special Issue aims at enhancing the impact of the ISSS conference in three ways, by:

  1. Giving attendees an opportunity to create modified and extended versions of their conference papers, based on the discussions, feedback, and other insights they generated at the conference;
  2. Providing community members who were unable to join the conference with an opportunity to engage with the conference theme and ISSS SIG themes by contributing a paper they would have liked to present if they had been able to attend the conference;
  3. Enabling conference attendees to present additional papers beyond the one they were limited to by the conference design.

We invite contributions on any aspect of the theme of the 2018 ISSS Conference, Innovation and Optimization in Nature and Design, or on any of the following ISSS SIG themes:

  • Action research;
  • Balancing individualism and collectivism;
  • Critical systems theory and practice;
  • Designing educational systems;
  • Digital product–service systems (IS and ICT);
  • Health and systems thinking;
  • Hierarchy theory;
  • Human systems inquiry;
  • Leadership and systemic innovation (LaSI);
  • Living systems science;
  • Organizational transformation and social change;
  • Relational science;
  • Research towards general theories of systems;
  • Science, spirituality, and systems science;
  • Socioecological systems and design;
  • Systemic ethics;
  • Systems applications in business and industry;
  • Systems biology and evolution;
  • Systems and mental health;
  • Systems modeling and systems engineering;
  • Systems pathology;
  • Systems philosophy.

For details about the focus of each SIG please visit: isss.org/world/special_integration_groups

This invitation is open to anyone interested in contributing to the advancement of the systems sciences and their applications, and is NOT conditional on ISSS membership or ISSS Conference attendance. Submissions must be original works not previously published, or, if previously published in the Proceedings of the 2018 ISSS Conference, then substantially reworked and extended compared to the Proceedings version. Review and acceptance of papers will proceed in accordance with the MDPI Systems journal editorial policies and processes.

Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio
Dr. David Rousseau
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 1000 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 science 
  • Systems philosophy 
  • Systems engineering
  • Systems thinking
  • Systems practice

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Method for Measuring Systems Thinking Learning
Systems 2020, 8(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems8020011 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
The myriad of problems facing the world today are increasingly complex, dynamic, and transcend multiple domains. This necessitates the need for trans-disciplinary approaches capable of providing a framework to help solve these problems. Systems thinking provides the skills necessary for people to approach [...] Read more.
The myriad of problems facing the world today are increasingly complex, dynamic, and transcend multiple domains. This necessitates the need for trans-disciplinary approaches capable of providing a framework to help solve these problems. Systems thinking provides the skills necessary for people to approach these types of problems. However, a lack of awareness and understanding of systems thinking hinders a potential systems-literate and systems-capable society. Systems thinking is comprised of four underlying concepts or skills: distinction-making, organizing systems, inter-relating, and perspective-taking. The path to becoming a systems thinker follows a process comprised of three levels—sensibility (awareness of systems), literacy (knowledge of systems), and capability (understanding of systems)—repeated across multiple learning phases. During this research study, a method was defined to measure whether non-experts learned the underlying systems thinking concepts according to this learning process. An experiment was conducted with 97 middle and high school students who were asked to draw a fish-tank system before and after being taught to apply the systems thinking concepts as skills for identifying elements, interactions, and roles/purposes. The results provide evidence to conclude that student learning of systems thinking significantly increased from the first drawing to the second drawing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Governance Perspective for System-of-Systems
Systems 2019, 7(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems7040054 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
The operating landscape of 21st century systems is characteristically ambiguous, emergent, and uncertain. These characteristics affect the capacity and performance of engineered systems/enterprises. In response, there are increasing calls for multidisciplinary approaches capable of confronting increasingly ambiguous, emergent, and uncertain systems. System of [...] Read more.
The operating landscape of 21st century systems is characteristically ambiguous, emergent, and uncertain. These characteristics affect the capacity and performance of engineered systems/enterprises. In response, there are increasing calls for multidisciplinary approaches capable of confronting increasingly ambiguous, emergent, and uncertain systems. System of Systems Engineering (SoSE) is an example of such an approach. A key aspect of SoSE is the coordination and the integration of systems to enable ‘system-of-systems’ capabilities greater than the sum of the capabilities of the constituent systems. However, there is a lack of qualitative studies exploring how coordination and integration are achieved. The objective of this research is to revisit SoSE utility as a potential multidisciplinary approach and to suggest ‘governance’ as the basis for enabling ‘system-of-systems’ coordination and integration. In this case, ‘governance’ is concerned with direction, oversight, and accountability of ‘system-of-systems.’ ‘Complex System Governance’ is a new and novel basis for improving ‘system-of-system’ performance through purposeful design, execution, and evolution of essential metasystem functions.’ Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Theory in Emancipative Action: Aligning Action Research in Information Systems Education with Critical Social Research in Information Systems
Systems 2019, 7(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems7030036 - 22 Jul 2019
Abstract
As educators, we want to guide our students so that they develop to the best of their ability and are emancipated. As researchers in education, we often use action research. We use proven theories to guide our intervention to emancipate our students. Or [...] Read more.
As educators, we want to guide our students so that they develop to the best of their ability and are emancipated. As researchers in education, we often use action research. We use proven theories to guide our intervention to emancipate our students. Or do we? Recently, prominent information systems journals have published few papers in the field of information systems education. We demonstrate that the guidelines for action research from a critical social research perspective in information systems are not evident in action research studies in information systems education. The emancipative goals of pure critical social research and reliance on critical social theory to guide our intervention are lacking in these educational studies. Our aim is to provide alignment between educational action research in information systems and information systems research conducted from a critical social theory perspective. Our methodology is to explicitly propose phases of action research from a critical social research perspective, grounded both in information systems and education literature. Then, we demonstrate the value of this approach in a study on the improvement of a data warehousing module. We conclude that by using proven theories and reflecting on the presuppositions in a problem environment, the researcher is able to guide the development of students and the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
From Mosaic to Systemic Redux: The Conceptual Foundation of Resilience and Its Operational Implications for Water Resource Management
Systems 2019, 7(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems7030032 - 26 Jun 2019
Abstract
Preserving and enhancing the resilience of water supply systems is an important goal for managers to help ensure the ongoing availability of a resource necessary to both economic activity and basic survival. If not explicitly identified as a goal, it can be inferred [...] Read more.
Preserving and enhancing the resilience of water supply systems is an important goal for managers to help ensure the ongoing availability of a resource necessary to both economic activity and basic survival. If not explicitly identified as a goal, it can be inferred from the desire to preserve water supply against a variety of stressors for current and future generations. Pursuing resilience is less than straightforward as there are multiple concurrent theoretical paradigms. Furthermore, operationalizing even one of these can be challenging. The authors survey several dominant paradigms with an eye towards distilling the essential, combinative properties of resilience. The contention underwriting this approach is that each paradigm yields important insights about resilience as a complex, emergent system characteristic. This survey lays the foundation for the operationalized approach that is the central thrust of the paper. Specifically, the authors develop an equation based on these properties and identify water resource metrics that correspond to each property. The analysis concludes with a preliminary causal loop diagram intended to capture key system variables and relationships between them. The authors argue that a systemic, conceptually robust approach to resilience is necessary to (1) assess current levels, and (2) improve levels of water resource system resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
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