IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/srbeha/v32y2015i5p534-545.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Unifying Theory of Systems Thinking with Psychosocial Applications

Author

Listed:
  • Derek Cabrera
  • Laura Cabrera
  • Erin Powers

Abstract

Systems thinking is a field characterized by a baffling array of methods and approaches. We posit that underlying all, however, are four universal rules called DSRP (distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives; each containing two co‐implying elements). We make distinctions between and among things and ideas, each implying the existence of an other. We identify systems, which are composed of parts and wholes. We recognize relationships composed of actions and reactions. We take perspectives consisting of a point (from which we see) and a view (that which is seen). We argue that DSRP offers a unifying and organizing principle for the field of systems thinking and an indispensable analytical tool for solving complex problems. At the same time, the metacognitive practice of applying these rules has significant psychosocial implications, such as increasing self‐awareness, empathy, and a sense of belonging, while decreasing stereotyping and self‐harming and other‐harming orientations. As such, DSRP has the potential to create advanced analytical thinkers with prosocial orientations. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek Cabrera & Laura Cabrera & Erin Powers, 2015. "A Unifying Theory of Systems Thinking with Psychosocial Applications," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 534-545, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:srbeha:v:32:y:2015:i:5:p:534-545
    DOI: 10.1002/sres.2351
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/sres.2351
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1002/sres.2351?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rodolphe Durand & Calori Roland, 2006. "Sameness, Otherness? : Enriching organizational change theories with philosophical considerations on the same and the other," Post-Print hal-02276726, HAL.
    2. Rodolphe Durand & Roland Calori, 2006. "Sameness, Otherness? Enriching organizational change theories with philosophical considerations on the same and the other," Post-Print hal-00459454, HAL.
    3. A Boyd & T Geerling & W J Gregory & C Kagan & G Midgley & P Murray & M P Walsh, 2007. "Systemic evaluation: a participative, multi-method approach," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 58(10), pages 1306-1320, October.
    4. C. West Churchman, 1970. "Operations Research as a Profession," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(2), pages 37-53, October.
    5. Margaret A. Neale & Max H. Bazerman, 1983. "The Role of Perspective-Taking Ability in Negotiating under Different Forms of Arbitration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(3), pages 378-388, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bloomfield, Katherine & Williams, Terry & Bovis, Chris & Merali, Yasmin, 2019. "Systemic risk in major public contracts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 667-676.
    2. Jagustović, Renata & Papachristos, George & Zougmoré, Robert B. & Kotir, Julius H. & Kessler, Aad & Ouédraogo, Mathieu & Ritsema, Coen J. & Dittmer, Kyle M., 2021. "Better before worse trajectories in food systems? An investigation of synergies and trade-offs through climate-smart agriculture and system dynamics," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    3. Foote, J. & Midgley, G. & Ahuriri-Driscoll, A. & Hepi, M. & Earl-Goulet, J., 2021. "Systemic evaluation of community environmental management programmes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 288(1), pages 207-224.
    4. Jagustović, Renata & Zougmoré, Robert B. & Kessler, Aad & Ritsema, Coen J. & Keesstra, Saskia & Reynolds, Martin, 2019. "Contribution of systems thinking and complex adaptive system attributes to sustainable food production: Example from a climate-smart village," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 65-75.
    5. Cabrera, Derek & Cabrera, Laura & Powers, Erin & Solin, Jeremy & Kushner, Jennifer, 2018. "Applying systems thinking models of organizational design and change in community operational research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 932-945.
    6. Brocklesby, John & Midgley, Gerald, 2016. "Boundary games: How teams of OR practitioners explore the boundaries of interventionAuthor-Name: Velez-Castiblanco, Jorge," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 968-982.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Walsh, Mike & Kittler, Markus G. & Throp, Maria & Shaw, Fraser, 2019. "Designing a recovery-orientated system of care: A community operational research perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 272(2), pages 595-607.
    2. Donald W. Light, 2007. "Toward an Economic Sociology of Compassionate Charity and Care," Working Papers 331, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Migration and Development..
    3. Midgley, Gerald & Johnson, Michael P. & Chichirau, George, 2018. "What is Community Operational Research?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 771-783.
    4. Gregory, Amanda J. & Atkins, Jonathan P., 2018. "Community Operational Research and Citizen Science: Two icons in need of each other?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 1111-1124.
    5. Sydelko, Pamela & Midgley, Gerald & Espinosa, Angela, 2021. "Designing interagency responses to wicked problems: Creating a common, cross-agency understanding," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 294(1), pages 250-263.
    6. Walsh, Mike & Kittler, Markus G. & Mahal, Dawn, 2018. "Towards a new paradigm of healthcare: Addressing challenges to professional identities through Community Operational Research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 1125-1133.
    7. Bradley Moore & Javier Calvo-Amodio & Joseph F. Junker, 2017. "Applying a Framework for Complementarist Intervention Approaches to Service Organizations to Achieve a Sustainable Holistic Management Model," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 30(5), pages 487-513, October.
    8. Rodolphe Durand & Robert M. Grant & Tammy L. Madsen & Eric Yanfei Zhao & Greg Fisher & Michael Lounsbury & Danny Miller, 2017. "Optimal distinctiveness: Broadening the interface between institutional theory and strategic management," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 93-113, January.
    9. Fabusuyi, Tayo, 2018. "Is crime a real estate problem? A case study of the neighborhood of East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 1050-1061.
    10. Weaver, Miles W & Crossan, Kenny & Tan, Hock B & Paxton, Steven E, 2018. "A systems approach to understanding the perspectives in the changing landscape of responsible business in Scotland," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 268(3), pages 1149-1167.
    11. J-R Córdoba & G Midgley, 2006. "Broadening the boundaries: an application of critical systems thinking to IS planning in Colombia," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 57(9), pages 1064-1080, September.
    12. Brett, Jeanne & Thompson, Leigh, 2016. "Negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 68-79.
    13. Midgley, Gerald & Cavana, Robert Y. & Brocklesby, John & Foote, Jeff L. & Wood, David R.R. & Ahuriri-Driscoll, Annabel, 2013. "Towards a new framework for evaluating systemic problem structuring methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 229(1), pages 143-154.
    14. Ilya R. P. Cuypers & Youtha Cuypers & Xavier Martin, 2017. "When the target may know better: Effects of experience and information asymmetries on value from mergers and acquisitions," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 609-625, March.
    15. Gerald Midgley & Jennifer Wilby, 2015. "Learning across Boundaries: Exploring the Variety of Systems Theory and Practice," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 509-513, September.
    16. Midgley, Gerald & Ochoa-Arias, Alejandro E, 1999. "Visions of community for community OR," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 259-274, April.
    17. Daniel Ebakoleaneh Ufua, 2020. "Exploring the Effectiveness of Boundary Critique in an Intervention: a Case in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 485-499, October.
    18. E A Silver, 2004. "An overview of heuristic solution methods," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 55(9), pages 936-956, September.
    19. Lubatkin, Michael H. & Durand, Rodolphe & Ling, Yan, 2007. "The missing lens in family firm governance theory: A self-other typology of parental altruism," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 1022-1029, October.
    20. Bradley Moore & Javier Calvo-Amodio & Joseph F. Junker, 0. "Applying a Framework for Complementarist Intervention Approaches to Service Organizations to Achieve a Sustainable Holistic Management Model," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-27.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:srbeha:v:32:y:2015:i:5:p:534-545. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/1092-7026 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/1092-7026 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.