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Course : T306_1 Managing Complexity: A Systems Approach (2000)

T306_1 Managing Complexity: A Systems Approach

Publisher:The Open University


Published: 2000 • Delivery Format: Online (Internet)


Provided by The Open University under their OpenLearn website as a free study units with a discussion forum. Study independently at your own pace or join a group and use the free learning tools to work with others.

Time: 20 hours
Level: Advanced

From The Open University:

Do you need to change the way you think when faced with a complex situation? This unit examines how systemic thinking and practice enables you to cope with the connections between things, events and ideas. By taking a broader perspective complexity becomes manageable and it is easier to accept that gaps in knowledge can be acceptable.



Content / Structure

Introduction Learning Outcomes
  • 1 Managing Complex Systems
    • 1.1 Thinking About Expectations
  • 2 Preparing to Tackle This Unit
    • 2.1 the Nature of Systems Thinking and Systems Practice
    • 2.2 Taking Responsibility for Your Own Learning
    • 2.3 Appreciating Epistemological Issues
  • 3 Understanding Systems Approaches to Managing Complexity
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Making Sense of the Metaphor
  • 4 Systems Practice – Unpacking the Juggler Metaphor
  • 5 Being a Systems Practitioner
    • 5.1 the State of ‘Being’
    • 5.2 Being Aware of the Constraints and Possibilities of the Observer
    • 5.3 Appreciating Your Basis for Understanding
    • 5.4 Experience – Making Distinctions Based on a Tradition and Constructing a History
    • 5.5 Distinctions About Systems Practice
    • 5.6 Learning and Effective Action
    • 5.7 Being Ethical
    • 5.8 Reviewing Some Implications for Systems Practice
  • 6 Engaging With Complexity
    • 6.1 Articulating Your Appreciation of Complexity
    • 6.2 Experiencing Complexity As Mess or Difficulty
    • 6.3 Where Is the Complexity and What Is It?
    • 6.4 Choosing to Distinguish Between Complex Situations and Complex Systems
    • 6.5 Appreciating Some Implications for Practice
Activity Answers References Acknowledgements External Assessor

Original Copyright © 2000 The Open University. Now made available within the Creative Commons framework under the CC Attribution – Non-commercial licence (see


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