General Systems Theory Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is General Systems Theory?
General Systems Theory (GST) is a transdisciplinary approach to understanding complex systems. GST was initially developed by the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1950s and has since become widely used in various disciplines such as biology, engineering, psychology, management science and sociology. The basic premise of GST is that all systems have common elements that can be studied and understood from a holistic perspective. This approach can help us understand how different parts of a system interact with each other to produce an overall effect on the system’s functioning. GST focuses on both the structure and behavior of complex systems, analyzing their components and patterns over time to better understand their dynamics. By studying these components together rather than separately, we are better able to comprehend relationships between them and develop models for how they might behave in different contexts or scenarios. GST also seeks to identify ways in which subsystems may influence one another, allowing us to gain insights into why certain changes occur within a system or what will happen when we alter certain aspects of it. In addition to its application across multiple disciplines, GST has been used to analyze business operations as well as social phenomena like culture and politics. For example, researchers have applied this theory to study large-scale organizational dynamics such as corporate transformations or government policies alongside individual behaviors like consumer choices or voter turnout rates during elections. By looking at these phenomena through a systemic lens rather than focusing solely on isolated factors, we can more accurately assess their impacts on people’s lives and our societies at large.