Systems Thinking – Creative Holism for Managers


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



Mann, C.J.H. (2004), "Systems Thinking – Creative Holism for Managers", Kybernetes, Vol. 33 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Systems Thinking – Creative Holism for Managers

Systems Thinking – Creative Holism for Managers

Michael C. JacksonWileyChichester2003xii + 352 pp.ISBN: 0-470-84522-8Cloth cover, £27.95

This book emanates from the Business School at the University of Hull, UK and is written by Professor Michael Jackson who is well known for his contributions to management systems and to the Systems Sciences.

In his Preface and Introduction to the text he sets out clearly his aims in producing the work. Managers, he says, are expected to cope with increasing complexity, change and diversity. He discusses these and lists the “quick-fix” solutions so commonly advocated. Reading this preface the manager is indeed stimulated and most readers will want to know what the authors himself will offer.

He does this by offering a book that is divided into three parts:

(1) Part I. Holism and Systems Practice, which covers Systems language and also Applied Systems Thinking.

(2) Part II. Systems Approaches, which includes Improving Goal Seeking and Viability; Exploring Purposes; Ensuring Fairness; Promoting Diversity.

(3) Part III. Creative Holism, which covers Total Systems Intervention; Critical.

Finally, in a short “Conclusion” he sums up Creative Holism, which he says is a new development in systems thinking which wants to provide managers with the joint benefits of holism and creativity so that they can do their jobs better.

This is a book which the publishers believe, that;

...Whatever stage you are at in your study of Systems thinking this book will help. If you are new to the field then it will serve as a solid introduction. If you are familiar with a few concepts but not with how they can be linked and used by managers, then it will give you a greater understanding of how holistic ideas developed and how to use them in practice.

The expert is also invited to read a copy because it will expand one's knowledge and provide more choice since you may well be an expert in some approaches but not in others. For all readers it promises that competency in creative holism can be achieved and you will be better equipped to solve complex problems and, ultimately become a more effective Systems Thinker.

A full review of the book will be published in coming issues of this journal.

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