Soft Systems Introduction

Define and discuss Soft Systems approaches. Hard systems also known as mechanical systems – behaviours & boundaries can be successfully described in mechanical terms. Soft systems: fuzzy boundaries. Parts/elements difficult to identify. Hard systems thinking: maximise efficiency of system. Soft systems thinking: inclusive of different perspectives. Systems thinking assumes system has emergent properties & is therefore greater than the sum […]


See previous post on Holistic and Reductionist views. Reductionist view – breaks system into sub-systems & individual functions. Can produce a lot of information on system operation. E.g. Different HND courses HND and Degree courses Individual tutors Individual support teams Performance of technical infrastructure Holistic view – looks at wider view of system. E.g. Number of potential students Performance of […]

Holistic and Reductionist views

Holistic Concept that system is greater than the sum of its parts, see the Bicycle and Central Heating systems for examples. Trying to identify all connections to systems environment, view is limited to that environment. By looking beyond the holistic or systemic view, we would be considering the ecological view recognising “the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena and the fact […]

Importance for sustainability 

There is a good quote from the EPA website which can be accessed directly from here info.htm Sustainability – issue of concerns about social, environmental and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth and resulting consumption of natural resources. Growth has been spurred by reductionist approach to development and scientific progress. Focused on making a better car, washing […]