A decentralized arrangement of nodes in a network.
This concept was introduced by W. Mc CULLOCH who explained that the relationships among the nodes may be variable, and even contradictory.
Heterarchy can also be defined as a noncentrally distributed system of components with various interconnected focal elements in a hierarchical organization.
Heterarchy is quite different from the treelike classical hierarchy. Not every decision must be here taken or controlled by the top power. Moreover, many elements, if not all, are multivalent and may, up to a point, play different roles in the system and replace each other.
According to G. WEINBERG, many attempts to use strictly hierarchical models are ill adapted to complex systems (and particularly, human systems), which are more like hybrids of hierarchical and heterarchical systems (1972, p.272).
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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