Outlines the emergence of critical systems thinking and practice and the reasons why such a development in the systems approach was necessary. Considers the limitations of traditional systems thinking and the strengths and weaknesses of three alternatives to the traditional systems approach — soft systems thinking, organizational cybernetics and emancipatory systems thinking. Reflection on the relationship between these different strands of the systems approach gave impetus to the birth of critical systems thinking. Details the nature of critical systems thinking, as resting on five commitments, and describes a new methodology (“total systems intervention”) to operationalize this approach.
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