This book is therefore intended to meet the needs of three groups. First, managers who attend professional development workshops to explore useful Systems techniques require a primer with which to consolidate the skills and knowledge they acquire for practical purposes. Secondly, members of academic communities (staff and students) need a text that provides both a practical and a theoretical guide to Systems ideas. The third group are people already well versed in Systems as a framework for thinking about complex issues, who wish for a reference work with which to add to their knowledge. These might be members of the UK Systems Society, the Systems Practice for Managing Complexity Network, the International Society for Systems Science or one of the many Systems Societies from around the world. The text is therefore divided into four sections which are intended to satisfy the beginner, who may be attending a one-day workshop (Chapters 1–3), the learner who wishes to understand how the various ideas from Systems can be brought together as problem-solving methods (Chapters 4 and 5); and the advanced learner who wishes to understand the theory behind the practice and the origins of modern Systems thinking and practice (Chapters 6 and 7). A fourth section (Chapters 8 and 9) provides case studies that can be used in a classroom situation.
This book is therefore an ideal resource for busy managers whose time is scarce. It provides a rapid introduction to straightforward yet powerful techniques that enable users to address real world problems.