The condition of a system undergoing ever wider fluctuations until it reaches some critical unstability threshold.
The basic understanding of nonequilibrium evolved considerably in the recent years. Before, as stated by I. PRIGOGINE et al, it was "considered as a perturbation temporarily preventing the appearence of structure identified with the order at equilibrium" (1975, p.17).
However, as stated by I. PRIGOGINE "nonequilibrium may be a source of order" in its own right, through the mechanism of dissipative structuration" (1978. p.1 /2).
Widely fluctuating systems, writes E. JANTSCH: "… try to maintain their capability for energy exchange with the environment by switching to a new dynamic regime" (1976, p.38).
This occurs through dissipative structuration and may lead to higher organization, in accordance with the principle of order through fluctuation established by I. PRIGOGINE. This higher internal organization of the system implies inevitably a higher level of entropy production.
N. ZELENY and N. PIERRE state: "Both nonequilibrium and instability are essential for self-organization of higher complexity"… and by the way "Human systems management is not optimal control theory or theory of conflict resolution" (1976, p.164).
In the same vein, A. TAYLOR writes: "Nonequilibrium systems are characterized by a high degree of energy exchange with the environment (and can therefore be termed dissipative structures). Thus, nonequilibrium dynamics is moving toward a theory of self-organization of processes and structures, applicable not only to the physical but to the biological and social domains as well" (1976, p.176).
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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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