A method for systems definition

Mario Iván Tarride (Industrial Engineering Department, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 1 June 2006



To design a method of systems definition that helps that task especially in the field of human activity systems.


The design is carried out from a constructivist platform and on the basis provided by systemic axiomatic and the Le Moigne nine‐level model.


A method is offered as a result, which comprises the following stages: nomination of the system and those with which it interacts and are in the mediate and immediate environment; determination of what the system studied does, treating it as a black box; opening of the black box to know its internal structure and functions; identification of its regulatory mechanisms with their corresponding information flows; recognition of its decision, memorization, coordination, conception and closure subsystems; and distinction of the system's evolution.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed method needs to be validated and improved, which is estimated to happen as long as it is used and receives feedback.

Practical implications

The method gives organicity to the description of human activity systems, consequently aiding other tasks such as the organizational diagnosis and design.


A new method of systems definition is proposed, especially thought to contribute to the understanding of human activity systems: organizations.



Iván Tarride, M. (2006), "A method for systems definition", Kybernetes, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 680-687. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684920610662395

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