Systems Theory

Topic Leader: Dr. Patrick Hester
Affiliation: Old Dominion University

Recommended Books

  • Ashby, W. R. (1952). Design for a brain. London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd.
  • Ashby, W. R. (1956). An introduction to cybernetics. London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd.
  • Bertalanffy, L. v. (1968). General system theory: Foundations, development, applications (Rev. ed.). New York: George Braziller.
  • Buckley, W. (1967). Sociology and modern systems theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
  • Buckley, W. (1998). Society - A complex adaptive system: Essays in social theory. Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association.
  • Bunge, M. (1999). The sociology-philosophy connection. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
  • Conway, F., & Siegelman, J. (2005). Dark hero of the information age: In search of Norbert Wiener the father of cybernetics. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books.
  • Forrester, J. W. (1961). Industrial dynamics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Forrester, J. W. (1969). Urban dynamics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Forrester, J. W. (1971). World dynamics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Hester, P.T., and Adams, K. MacG. (2014). Systemic thinking: Fundamentals for understanding problems and messes. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International.
  • Klir, G. J. (1968). An approach to general systems theory. Princeton, NJ: Nostrand.
  • Laszlo, E. (1972). Introduction to systems philosophy: Toward a new paradigm of contemporary thought. New York: Harper Torchbooks.
  • Laszlo, E. (1996). The systems view of the world: A holistic vision for our time. Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Luhmann, N. (1995). Social systems (J. Bednarz & D. Beacker, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Luhmann, N. (2012). Theory of society, Volume 1 (R. Barrett, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Mesarovic, M. D. (1964). Views on general systems theory. New York: . New York: Wiley.
  • Miller, J. G. (1978). Living systems. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Parsons, T. (1991). The social system (New Edition). London: Routledge.
  • Sawyer, R. K. (2005). Social emergence: Societies as complex systems. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.
  • Wiener, N. (1948). Cybernetics: Or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Wymore, A. W. (1967). A mathematical theory of systems engineering: The elements. New York: Wiley.
  • Wymore, A. W. (1993). Model-based systems engineering. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.  

Recommended Journal Articles

  • Adams, K.M., Hester, P.T., Bradley, J.M., Meyers, T.J., and Keating, C.B. (2014). Systems theory as the foundation for understanding systems. Systems Engineering, 17(1), 112-123.
  • Adams, K. MacG. and Hester, P.T. (2012). Errors in systems approaches. International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 3(3/4), 233-242.
  • Ashby, W. R. (1947). Principles of the self-organizing dynamic system. Journal of General Psychology, 37, 125-128.
  • Bahg, C.-G. (1990). Major systems theories throughout the world. Behavioral Science, 35(2), 79-107.
  • Bechmann, G., & Stehr, N. (2002). The legacy of Niklas Luhmann. Society, 39(2), 67-75.
  • Bertalanffy, L. v. (1949). General systems theory. Biologia Generalis, 19(1), 114-129. 
  • Bertalanffy, L. v. (1950). An outline of general systems theory. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1(2), 134-165. 
  • Boulding, K. E. (1956). General systems theory – The skeleton of science. Management Science, 2(3), 197-208. 
  • Bunge, M. (1979). A systems concept of society: Beyond individualism and holism. Theory and Decision, 10(1-4), 13-30.
  • Bunge, M. (1997). Mechanism and explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 27(4), 410-465.
  • Bunge, M. (2004). How does it work?: The search for explanatory mechanisms. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 34(2), 182-210.
  • Conant, R. C., & Ashby, W. R. (1970). Every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system. International Journal of Systems Science, 1(2), 89-97. 
  • François, C. (1999). Systemics and cybernetics in a historical perspective. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 16(3), 203-219.
  • Hammond, D. (2002). Exploring the genealogy of systems thinking. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 19(5), 429-439.
  • Laszlo, E. (1973). The rise of general theories in contemporary science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 4(2), 335-344.
  • Parsons, T. (1970). On building social system theory: A personal history. Daedalus, 99(4), 826-881. 
  • Parsons, T. (1979). Concrete systems and "Abstracted systems" Contemporary Sociology, 8(5), 696-705. 
  • Rosenblueth, A., Wiener, N., & Bigelow, J. (1943). Behavior, purpose and telelogy. Philosophy of Science, 10(1), 18-24. 
  • Sciulli, D., & Gerstein, D. (1985). Social theory and Talcott Parsons in the 1980s. Annual Review of Sociology, 11, 369-387.
  • Shannon, C. E. (1948a). A mathematical theory of communication, Part 1 Bell System Technical Journal, 27(3), 379-423. 
  • Shannon, C. E. (1948b). A mathematical theory of communication, Part 2. Bell System Technical Journal, 27(4), 623-656. 

Recommended Conferences Papers

  • Adams, K.M., Hester, P.T., and Bradley, J.M. (2013). A historical perspective of systems theory. In A. Krishnamurthy and W.K.V. Chan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2013 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (pp. 4102-4109). Norcross, GA: Institute of Industrial Engineers.
  • Hester, P.T. and Adams, K.M. (2013). Thinking systemically about complex systems. Procedia Computer Science, 20, 312-317.
  • Mesarovic, M. D. (1967). General systems theory and its mathematical foundation. Paper presented at the 1967 Systems Science and Cybernetics Conference, Boston, MA.