System complexity - boulding taxonomy, Operation Management

System complexity - Boulding taxonomy 

To obtain an insight into the nature of the system with which the operations manager is dealing, consider the economist Kenneth Boulding's Taxonomy (shown in the table below), in which he classified systems into nine levels, of increasing complexity: 

Boulding's taxonomy 

1.  Static (frameworks) 

 Maps, chemical symbols, organisation charts. 

2.  Simple dynamic (clockworks) 

 Predetermined motions. Levers, pulleys, theoretical structure of physics. 

3.  Cybernetic (thermostat) 

 Self-regulation, involving communication and integration of information.

Watts governor, numerically controlled machine tools. 

4.  Self-maintaining (cell) 

 Level at which life is differentiated  from non-life. Ingestion, excretion, metabolic exchange. 

5.  Genetic (plant life) 

 Division of work among cells - cell society. Roots, leaves, seeds, etc. 

6.  Animal 

 Specialised information receptors -  eyes, ears, etc. Nervous system, information-processing, mobility, behaviour. 

7.  Man 

 Self-reflection. Memory, symbol manipulation, time-sense, speech. 

8.  Social organisations 

 The individual's role is a significant factor - a set of roles tied by their channels of communication. 

9  Transcendental 

 Abstract systems. Religions, philosophies, ideologies. 

Note that the operations systems with which we are concerned are at the second highest level of complexity in this taxonomy, ie at level 8. 

Inputs, transformation and outputs  
Levels 4 through 9 can be seen as open systems which interact with their environments. Inputs are received from the environment, are transformed by the system, and the outputs are returned to the environment.


Posted Date: 3/16/2013 5:56:31 AM | Location : United States

Related Discussions:- System complexity - boulding taxonomy, Assignment Help, Ask Question on System complexity - boulding taxonomy, Get Answer, Expert's Help, System complexity - boulding taxonomy Discussions

Write discussion on System complexity - boulding taxonomy
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
Consider this situation: Joseph had an idea that he could speed up a floor buffing machine by putting a different motor on it. After about 25 tries he was able to make a buffer run

What rule of thumb or guidelines would you recommend for deciding whether statistical differences between men and women, or non-minorities and minorities, reflect discrimination oc

Which do you think would be more effective for shaping long-term ethical behaviour in an organization: a written code of ethics combined with ethics training or strong ethical lead

1. Describe, in general terms, the quality of staff needed to manage an ERP system?  2. According to Cisco Systems, on what simple truth is their entire Internet commerce initia

Number Defective - Np Chart This type of chart can be used when it is possible to establish a constant sample size n. It has the advantage that it is readily understood by use

Finding solutions to problems is affected by how one frames the problem. In other words, what one thinks is wrong will influence what one believes the available solution(s) to be.

Why should one study operations management?

I need to explain forecasting, also how it is performed at St. Arnold's Brewery (Houston, TX) also what forecasting error is and if there has been any in the past.

Superior Products Inc. is considering two potential equipment alternatives for production of their best selling product line. Option 1 involves proven equipment: Fixed cost investm