Re: UK systems thinking, Winograd/Flores, customer focus etc

Art Kleiner (
Thu, 22 Sep 1994 05:30:45 -0700

In reply to John Matthews:
You raise a lot of interesting questions bout the relationships
between various forms of "systems thinking". Unfortunately, nobody
has yet done much work on putting all these ways of thinking in
context of each other, with one exception: George Rchardson's
outstanding book, Feedback Thought in SOcial Science and Systems
Theory (1991; University of Pennsylvania Press). But Richardson
-- I mean, RIchardson covers Stafford Beer and Karl Weick, for
instance, and von Bertellanfy, but not Trist or Flores or
His basic thesis -- that there are two historical threads of
"cybernetic/systems" understanding, based on two different types
of machines and observations of their feedback processes over
time -- is fascinating.
There's even less work done, to date, linking Fritz's ideas
with those of Czikszentmihalyi. I have heard of, but not read,
the book "Flow"... so I feel chagrined, a bit, at my own
ignorance. Others may be able to answer this better.