Title: Complex system governance requires systems thinking - how to find systems thinkers

Authors: Raed M. Jaradat

Addresses: Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Old Dominion University, 2101 Systems Research & Academic Building, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA

Abstract: Systems thinking offers a particularly useful worldview for dealing with increasing complexities faced by individuals. This paper explores the nature, assessment, and implications that systems thinking holds for individuals challenged by the shifting landscape of modern complex system governance. Following an introduction that identifies the main attributes of complex systems faced by individuals who engage in governance activities, three major themes are developed: 1) exploration of the concept of systems thinking; 2) suggestion of how enhanced systems thinking can increase the capability of individuals to more effectively design for system governance; 3) a strategic framework and initial findings for application of an instrument for assessment of the level of systems thinking for an individual. Systems thinking is suggested as a critical capability for individuals who must design, analyse, and transform complex system governance and address its derivative problems. Effectiveness in systems thinking is a critical skill for addressing some of the most vexing problems of the 21st century. This paper summarises the findings of a systems thinking instrument developed to identify the systems skills individuals need to engage complex system governance. The paper concludes with future research and application of the systems thinking instrument to better understand complex system governance.

Keywords: complex systems; system governance; systems thinking; multidisciplinary problems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSE.2015.068813

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 2015 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.53 - 70

Available online: 10 Apr 2015 *

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