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Selected Readings on Critical Systems Heuristics

   Recommended readings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended readings  Would you like to know more about critical systems heuristics (CSH) and its philosophical underpinnings, or about my related ideas on good research and professional practice? Here you find a list of recommended readings, both for a first introduction and for further study.

Most of the recommended readings are available for download as PDF files from the present site or from other web sites (partly in open-access mode, partly with restricted /pay-per-view access); you'll find the links together with the readings. Of some other, usually older readings, hard copies may be available, see the page "Hard Copies."

I wish you a good reading experience.   W Ulrich

Complete List of Publications

 

 (a) Introductory Readings 

Critical systems heuristics. In H.G. Daellenbach and R.L. Flood (eds.),
The Informed Student Guide to Management Science, London: Thomson, 2002, pp. 72-73. [ISBN 1-86152-542-7]
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/csh.html (adapted prepublication version)
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2002b.pdf (prepublication version)

Boundary critique. In H.G. Daellenbach and R.L. Flood (eds.),
The Informed Student Guide to Management Science, London: Thomson, 2002, pp. 41-42. [ISBN 1-86152-542-7]
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/boundary_critique.html (adapted prepublication version)
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2002a.pdf  (prepublication version)

Critical heuristics of social systems design. European Journal of Operational Research, 31, No. 3, 1987, pp. 276-283] [ISSN 0377-2217]
[HTML]
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03772217/31/3 (restricted access)

Systems Thinking as if People Mattered: Critical Systems Thinking for Citizens and Managers. Working Paper No. 23, Lincoln School of Management, University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, June 1998, 19 pp. [ISBN 1-86050-146-X]
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_1998c.pdf

A Primer to Critical Systems Heuristics for Action Researchers. Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, Hull, UK, 31 March 1996, 58pp.
[ISBN 0-85958-872-6] [also available from the author]
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_1996a.pdf (Online version of 10 Aug 2014)

A brief introduction to "Critical Systems Thinking for Professionals & Citizens." Werner Ulrich's home page, 21 April 2003.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/cst_brief.html
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2003b.pdf

A brief introduction to critical systems heuristics (CSH). ECOSENSUS Publications, Knowledge Media Institute (KMI), The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 14 October 2005.
[HTML] http://projects.kmi.open.ac.uk/ecosensus/publications/index.html (for download)
[PDF] http://projects.kmi.open.ac.uk/ecosensus/publications/ulrich_csh_intro.pdf (orig. version)
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2005f.pdf (current version)

The art of boundary crossing: another introduction to boundary critique.
Ulrich's Bimonthly (formerly Picture of the Month), May 2006.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/picture_may2006.html
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/picture_may2006.pdf

Critical systems heuristics (authors: W. Ulrich and M. Reynolds).
In M. Reynolds and S. Holwell (eds.),
Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide, London: Springer, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 2010, pp. 243-292.
[ISBN 978-1-84882-808-7, e-ISBN 978-1-84882-809-4]
[PDF] 
http://oro.open.ac.uk/21299/

CST's two ways: a concise account of critical systems thinking.
Ulrich's Bimonthly, November-December 2012.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_november2012.html

[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_november2012.pdf

 

 

 

 (b) Basic Book 

Critical Heuristics of Social Planning: A New Approach to Practical Philosophy. Second, unchanged paperback reprint edition, New York and London: John Wiley & Sons, 1994. [ISBN 0-471-95345-8 (still in print)]
Original edition Bern, Switzerland, and Stuttgart, Germany: Paul Haupt, 1983. 504 pp.
[ISBN 3-258-03219-X (out of print)]

 

 

 

 (c) Readings for Further Study 

Systems thinking, systems practice, and practical philosophy: a program of research. Systems Practice, 1, No. 2, 1988, pp. 137-163. [ISSN 0894-9859]
[HTML] http://www.springerlink.com/content/q4437782lhm3w252/  (restricted access)

Some difficulties of ecological thinking, considered from a critical systems perspective: a plea for critical holism. Systems Practice, 6, No. 6, 1993, pp. 583-611. [ISSN 0894-9859]
[HTML] 
http://www.springerlink.com/content/v6887r245467m511/ (restricted access)
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_1993.pdf (post-publication version of 12 March 2006)

Can we secure future-responsive management through systems thinking and design? Interfaces, 24, No. 4, 1994, Special Section in Celebration of C.W. Churchman's 80 years, ed. by E. Koenigsberg and J.P. van Gigch, pp. 26-37. [ISSN 0092-2102] Rev. version, 20 March 2009.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/frm.html (rev. postpublication version of 2009)
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_1994.pdf (rev. postpublication version of 2009)

Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice, 1, No. 2, 2000, pp. 247-268. [ISSN 1462-3943 print, ISSN 1470-1103 online]
[DOI] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713693151 (restricted access)
[HTML] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713693151 (restricted access)
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2000a.pdf (prepublication version, open access)

{According to the publisher's web site, this paper was in the late 2000's and early 2010s among the ten most cited papers published in Reflective Practice. }

The quest for competence in systemic research and practice.
Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 18, No. 1, 2001, pp. 3-28.
[ISSN 1092-7026 print, ISSN 1099-1743 online]
[DOI] http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sres.366 (restricted access)
[HTML] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jissue/76509522 (restricted access)
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2001a.pdf (prepublication version)

A philosophical staircase for information systems definition, design, and development: a discursive approach to reflective practice in ISD (Part 1). JITTA, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 3, No. 3, 2001 (Special issue: the role of dialogue in information systems development, ed. by M. Metcalfe), pp. 55-84. [ISSN 1532-4516]
[HTML] http://jitta.org/ (restricted access)
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2001b.pdf

Critically systemic discourse: a discursive approach to reflective practice in ISD (Part 2). JITTA, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 3, No. 3, 2001 (Special issue: the role of dialogue in information systems development, ed. by M. Metcalfe), pp. 85-106. [ISSN 1532-4516]
[HTML] http://jitta.org/ (restricted access)
[PDF] http://ulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2001c.pdf

Beyond methodology choice: critical systems thinking as critically systemic discourse. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 54, No. 4 (April), 2003, pp. 325-342. [ISSN 0160-5682]
[HTML] 
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/v54/n4 / (restricted access)
[PDF] http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/v54/n4/pdf/2601518a.pdf (restricted access) 

{This paper is among the ten most cited papers published in JORS between 2000 and 2009, according to a citation analysis by K. Katsaliaki et al, "A profile of OR research and practice published in the Journal of the Operational Research Society," Journal of the Operational Research Society, 61, No. 1, 2010, pp. 82-94, there p. 90f}

C. West Churchman, 1913-2004 (obituary). Journal of the Operational Research Society, 55, No. 11 (Nov.), 2004, pp. 1123-1129. [ISSN 0160-5682]
[HTML] http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/v55/n11/ (restricted access)

A plea for critical pragmatism. (Reflections on critical pragmatism, Part 1). Ulrich's Bimonthly, September-October 2006.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_september2006.html
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_september2006.pdf

Critical pragmatism: a new approach to professional and business ethics. In L. Zsolnai (ed.), Interdisciplinary Yearbook of Business Ethics, Vol. I , Oxford, UK, and Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang Academic Publishers, 2006, pp. 53-85. [ISSN 1661-5999]

Rethinking critically reflective research practice: beyond Popper's critical rationalism. Journal of Research Practice, 2, No. 2 (October), 2006, article P1. [ISSN 1712 851X]
[HTML] 
http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/view/64/63
[PDF] http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/download/64/120 or
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2006i.pdf

Philosophy for professionals: towards critical pragmatism. Viewpoint.
Journal of the Operational Research Society, 58, No. 8 (August), 2007, pp. 1109-1113. [ISSN 0160-5682]
[HTML] 
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/v58/n8/ (restricted access)
[PDF] http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/v58/n8/pdf/2602336a.pdf (restricted access)


Rev. version of 20 March 2016: Philosophy for professionals: towards critical pragmatism. Reflections on Critical Pragmatism, Part 7. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2016.
[HTML] http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_march2016.html
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_march2016.pdf

The greening of pragmatism. Three reflections on the past, present, and future of critical pragmatism. Part (i): The emergence of critical pragmatism. Part (ii): Current issues in developing critical pragmatism – a methodological trilemma. Part (iii): The way ahead. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April, May-June, and September-October 2007.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_march2007.html
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_march2007.pdf
[HTML] http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_may2007.html
[PDF]
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_may2007.pdf
[HTML] http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_september2007.html
[PDF]
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_september2007.pdf

Reflections on reflective practice. Parts 1/7 to 7/7 (in progress).

Part 1: The mainstream concept of reflective practice and its blind spot. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2008.
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_march2008.html
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_march2008. pdf
and subsequent Bimonthlies (see list of
Publications for full details)

{A series of nine essays, structured into seven parts, on the relevance and limitations of the idea of "reflective practice" as it has developed in the professional education literature, and how we might develop it into an adequate framework for applied science and expertise.}

What is good professional practice? Parts 1-4 (in progress).

Part 1: Introduction. Ulrich's Bimonthly, March-April 2011 (21 March 2011).
[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_march2011.html
[PDF]
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_march2011.pdf
and subsequent Bimonthlies (see list of Publications for full details)

{A series of four essays on the nature of sound professional intervention and advice]

Operational research and critical systems thinking – an integrated perspective. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 63, No. 9 (September), 2012; pp. 1307-1322 (Part 1) and pp. 1228-1247 (Part 2). Part 1: OR as applied systems thinking. Part 2: OR as argumentative practice. [ISSN 0160-5682]
[HTML] http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jors2011141a.html
[PDF] http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/jors2011141a.pdf
[HTML]
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jors2011145a.html
[PDF]
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jors/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/jors2011145a.pdf
(all articles restricted access) 

[A two-part inquiry into the meaning of good practice in the field of operational research (OR), results in a combined account of OR in terms of applied systems thinking and of argumentative practice.]

Critical systems thinking. In S. Gass and M. Fu (eds.), Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, 3rd edn., 2 vols. New York: Springer, 2013, Vol. 1, pp. 314-326.

{An encyclopedic article on the nature and aims of critical systems thinking (CST), with a systematic comparative account of the methodological core ideas and principles of the two main strands of CST (30 November 2013).
[DOI] http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1153-7_1149 (restricted access)
[HTML] http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4419-1153-7_1149 (restricted access) .
An
earlier but similar open-access version is:
CST's two ways: a concise account of critical systems thinking. Ulrich's Bimonthly, November-December 2012.

[HTML] 
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_november2012.html
[PDF] 
http://wulrich.com/downloads/bimonthly_november2012.pdf

 

 

 

 (d) Additional Readings in German Language 

Systemrationalität und praktische Vernunft – Gedanken zum Stand des Systemansatzes. Introduction to C. West Churchman: Der Systemansatz und seine „Feinde," transl. by W. Ulrich. Bern, Switzerland, and Stuttgart, Germany: Paul Haupt, 1981, pp. 7-37. [ISBN 3-258-02991-1]

Management oder die Kunst, Entscheidungen zu treffen, die andere betreffen. Zum Begründungsproblem der Managementlehre als angewandter Wissenschaft. Die Unternehmung, Schweizerische Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis, 38, No. 4, 1984, pp. 326-346. [ISSN 0042-059X]

Systemtheorie der Planung. In N. Szyperski (ed.), Handwörterbuch der Planung, Stuttgart: Poeschel, 1989, columns 1971-1978. [ISBN 3-7910-8020-2]

Aufgabensteuerung in der öffentlichen Verwaltung. Überlegungen zur Umsetzung des Verfassungsauftrags der Überprüfung der Staatsaufgaben im Kanton Bern. VOP, Fachzeitschrift für öffentliche Verwaltung, 17, No. 3, 1995, pp. 148-156.

Forschende Systeme. Über C. West Churchman, "The Design of Inquiring Systems,” New York: Basic Books 1971. In D. Baecker (ed.), Schlüsselwerke der Systemtheorie, 2. Aufl., Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer VS (forthcoming in April 2016). Prepublication version in: Ulrich's Bimonthly, January-February 2016 (2 Jan 2016; orig. 4 Nov 2015). The PDF version is also available in Werner Ulrich's Home Page, Section "A Tribute to C. West Churchman," and in the "Reviews" section of the author's Academia.edu page:
[HTML] http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_january2016.html
[PDF] http://wulrich.com/downloads/ulrich_2016a.pdf (first published 4 Nov 2015, updated 2 Jan 2016)
[PDF] https://unifr.academia.edu/WernerUlrich/Reviews (first published 4 Nov 2015, updated 2 Jan 2016)

 

 

 

 (e) Additional Readings in Spanish Language 

Diseño de sistemas para resolución de problemas. Teoría General de Sistemas al Día, No. 7. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Associación Argentina de Teoría General de Sistemas y Cibernética, 1990, 12 pp. [Spanish translation of “The design of problem-solving systems,” orig. in Management Science, 23, No. 10, 1977, pp. 1099-1108.]

Una crítica al pensamiento cibernético: la experiencia chilena (proyecto CYBERSYN). Traducido y comentado por Gustavo González; Ernesto Lleras; Mauricio Wiesner. Memos de Investigación, No. 36. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones de la Facultad de Ingenería (CIFI), March 1989, 30 pp. [Spanish translation of “A critique of pure cybernetic reason: The Chilean experience with cybernetics,” Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, 8, 1981, pp. 33-59.]

 

 

 

 (f) Readers by Third Authors 

Three recent collections of readings may help readers to situate CSH within other contemporary approaches to systemic and environmental thinking:

M. Reynolds, C.Blackmore, and M.J. Smith (eds). The Environmental Responsibility Reader. London and New York: Zed Books, 2009.

{Reader offering a representative selection of seminal contributions to environmental awareness and responsibility, ranging from the writings of Rachel Carson, Garrett Hardin, and Aldo Leopold to those of Geoffrey Vickers and Fritjof Capra. Each contribution is briefly introduced by the editors, followed by an excerpt from a classical or contemporary text. CSH is represented with an excerpt from "Can we secure future-responsive management through systems thinking and design?" (Ulrich, 1994) in Ch. 12, pp. 123-137.}

M. Ramage and K. Shipp (eds.). Systems Thinkers. London: Springer, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 2009.

{A biographical history of the field of systems thinking as represented by 30 selected authors, among them Russell Ackoff, Gregory Bateson, Peter Checkland, C. West Churchman, Niklas Luhman, Margaret Mead, Ilya Prigogine, Howard Odum, Geoffrey Vickers, Norbert Wiener, and others. For each author, the editors offer a concise biographical introduction and outline of some key ideas, followed by a brief but representative extract from the author's writings. My work on CSH is introduced in Ch. 16, pp. 159-167.}

M. Reynolds and S. Holwell (eds.). Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide. London: Springer, in association with The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 2010.

{A thorough-going introduction to five major systems approaches: Systems Dynamics (SD), the Viable Systems Model (VSM), Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA), Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), and Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH). Each approach is presented by the originators and/or experienced practitioners; in addition, the editors provide a useful overview of the development of these and other approaches as seen from different perspectives of systems thinking. Ch. 6 offers a major new introduction to CSH, authored by the originator together with an experienced practitioner of CSH, see pp. 243-292.}

An older reader of interest is:

R.L. Flood and M.C. Jackson (eds.). Critical Systems Thinking: Directed Readings. Chichester and New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1991.

{This is the first and probably still best reader on critical systems thinking (CST). It resulted from a short period of close cooperation between the CSH and the TSI strands of CST in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see my above-cited article of 2012 on "CST's two ways: a concise account of critical systems thinking" for a non-partisan account of the two strands and how they respond to different but complementary issues of critical practice). CSH is represented with reprints of three of my articles: "Critical heuristics of social systems design" (1987), "Systems thinking, systems practice, and practical philosophy: a program of research" (1988), and"Testament to conversations on critical systems thinking and practice" (with R.L. Flood, 1990).}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated 12 Jun 2016 (first published 6 Feb 2003)
Layout last modified 18 April 2009
http://wulrich.com/readings.html

 

 

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