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Courses: SYSC 513: Systems Approach Spring 2008

Systems Science Ph.D. Program, PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
George Lendaris 206 Harder House (10th & Market) (503)725-4988


This course provides a practitioner-oriented definition of systems, including the importance of observer dependence and context, and ideas of meta-systems, subsystems (Lendaris); philosophical foundations, human dimensions, value systems and associated optimization/sub-optimization, casuistry, aspects of life-cycle project management, and economic decision making (Hall); inquiring systems (Mitroff & Turoff); key aspects of human learning organizations, systems thinking, and systems modeling (Senge); qualitative tools for the systems practitioner, including various graphical tools (Delp); and the multiple perspectives aspect of the systems approach, both "horizontal" and "vertical" (Lendaris, Hall, and Linstone).

This course fulfills a core SySc requirement.

Course Syllabus:

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Course Schedule:

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SYSC 513 Spring 2008 Assignments

Readings - Books available at Bookstore:

  • Hall, A.D., Metasystems Methodology, A new Synthesis and Unification, Pergamon Press, NY, 1989. (Ch. 1, 2, 4-8, 10) Course Pak at Bookstore.
  • Linstone, H.A., Decision Making for Technology Executives, Artech House, Boston, 1999. (Ch. 1-5, 9, A.5)
  • Rabow, et al, Learning Thru Discussion, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA, 1994. (Full book)
  • Senge, P.M. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Doubleday, 1990. (Full book)

Readings - Packet at Smartcopy:

  • Delp, et al, Systems Tools for Project Planning, Indiana Univ., 1977, excerpts.

Readings - .pdf files on course Website:


  • Graduate status or permission of the instructor.

Teaching Style:

  • Students read assigned papers and prepare "Cognitive Maps" as described in the Learning Thru Discussion text. Students participate actively in class discussions, including playing a leadership role.Sample Cognitive Map

Grade basis:

  • Homework 1/3
  • Class Participation 1/3
  • Final Exam (take-home) 1/3