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Managing Complex Systems

Autor:   •  January 6, 2017  •  Coursework  •  516 Words (3 Pages)  •  251 Views

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This chapter starts by exploring the development and history behind the Informing Science Framework. Eli Cohen’s derivation of the model stems from three different sources: Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication, the “meta-approach” to modeling, and Leavitt’s Change-Equilibrium model. The integration of these models forms a framework that is defined at a high level by the Informing Environment, the Delivery System, and the Task-Completion System. At a basic level, the framework can be further simplified by looking at the model as a communications platform that consists of an informer, the channel medium, and the client. While this is oversimplified, the basis of this chapter is to establish a system that describes simple models. More complex systems cannot easily be described by this model.

The progression of the framework was further ratified by Gackowski who established a simpler model that consisted of informing entities (Informing Environment), Information Delivery System (channel), and the entities informed (Task Completion System). The importance of Gackowski’s efforts can be argued through the establishment of active/inactive informers and clients. The model helps describe the routine/non routine informing process due to the varied nature of clients and the structured complexity of the information to be conveyed.

The Informing Science framework is used to describe simple systems and it accomplishes this by breaking it down into three separate layers: the informing instance level, the construction level, and the design level. In order to determine if a system can be described by the model, one must evaluate whether or not it falls into the category of routine or non-routine informing. The routine informing model suggests that both the structure of the information and the clients knowledge surrounding the area are very high. On the contrary and at one extreme, the non-routine informing system consists of a complex model lacking symbolic representation in conjunction with clients who have little knowledge of the area in question. The combinations in between also represent non-routine informing as there are elements of uncertainty on both the structure of the information and the sender’s knowledge of existing client understanding.

Examples of Informing and their associated complexity are documented first through the purview of an Academic Informing System. The academic system is broken down into two institutions who have differing means for informing their respective clients: the disciplinary informing system and the institutional informing system. While their goals and resources are different in some aspects, each depends on one another and they serve different types of clients including students, practitioners, community leaders, and others. In fact, these informing systems will sometimes compete for the resources of the informing and client parties. The academic informing


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