Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Systems Thinking

Coping with 21st Century Problems, 1st Edition

By John Boardman, Brian Sauser

CRC Press

240 pages | 41 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781420054910
pub: 2008-01-17
SAVE ~$24.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429146404
pub: 2008-01-17
from $60.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


By examining the links and interactions between elements of a system, systems thinking is becoming increasingly relevant when dealing with global challenges, from terrorism to energy to healthcare. Addressing these seemingly intractable systems problems in our society, Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems focuses on the inherent opportunities and difficulties of a systems approach. Taking an engineering systems view toward systems thinking, the authors place a high value on the thinking process and the things applied to this process.

In the hopes of initiating critical thinking and encouraging a systems response to problems, the book provides pragmatic mechanisms to understand and address co-evolving systems problems and solutions. It uses several contemporary and complex societal issues, such as the Iraq war, the Google phenomenon, and the C2 Constellation, to illustrate the concepts, methods, and tools of a system as well as the meaning of togetherness in a system. The text also interweaves the meanings of complexity, paradox, and system to promote the improvement of difficult situations.

Featuring a holistic, nonlinear way of looking at systems, this book helps readers better organize and structure their thinking of systems in order to solve complex, real-world problems.


  Comments from readers…

-- At first I purchased the book as a way to prepare for my defense, then I found myself turning the pages faster and faster … I loved the book… .

-- Good information. Good foundational material.

-- Wonderful, just like sliced bread.

-- As expected, the book is excellent. … really like the time to think exercises.

-- Very refreshing take on thinking about systems… .

-- As a sociologist, my substantive interest is in building societal capacity for and expression of compassion. I am thrilled by your approach!

-- Great book, great tool!

-- Brilliant!! Much better than a Harry Potter movie.

Table of Contents


If You Leave Me Now

Areas of Perspective

Perspectives on Google

Returning to Iraq


Just a Thought

What’s the Big Idea?

The Conceptagon


Pressed into Action

The Way We Were

Quite another Story


Thinks Can Only Get Better


Breakfast @ Tiffs ‘n’ Ease

Softly, as I Lead You

Into Great Issues


From Prose to Picture

Going off the Rails

Normal Service Will Never Be Resumed



Common Causes

An Intelligent Community?

The Madder of All Wars

Principles for Togetherness


Social Networks

Order Forms

Technology Networks

Less Auto, More Mobile

The Price and Prize of Togetherness

The System of Systems Debate

Essential Characteristics

Back to Biology


Make My Joy Complete

The World of Both

System Paradoxes

Bothersome Bovines


Life’s Rich Tapestry

Sides of Bacon

A Weakness Stronger than Strength

Ready, Fire, Aim

Snowballs and Seesaws

Significant Others



A “Time to Think” section and Endnotes appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Series

Systems Innovation Book Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)