J.van GIGCH tackled this subject in his book on "Applied General Systems Theory"(1978, p. 145-170). His views have been much influenced by C.W. CHURCHMAN's ones.
van Gigch writes: "In the past, science and design could remain value free… the optimum dictated solely by the "technological imperative" by which efficiency meant to find the solution with the lowest technical costs"(p.145)
However now "technological efficiency becomes subordinated to social efficiency". This implies that "to determinate the morality of a system's design is to evaluate the effects of the planner's intervention on those for whom the plan is intended. It involves a consideration of:
1- value measures-costs and utility
2- a science of values
3- the ethics of spillover effects
4- the ethics of causing changes
5- the ethics of goals
6- the manager's ethics
7 – social responsability
8- the conservation ethics
9- consumerism and consumer protection
10- safety and product liability "
These points are extensively developed by van Gigch in his book. It is generally very important to understand that many of the terms used as for example: costs, utility, values, goals- have very variable psychological overtones (or "undertones"?) according to the different people who use them: managers, shareholders, stakeholders, outside observers.
The very signification of the concepts of morality and value needs to be deeply scrutinized.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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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