Systems theory is a transdisciplinary approach that abstracts and considers a system as a set of independent and interacting parts. The main goal is to study general principles of system functioning to be applied to all types of systems in all fields of research. As a technical and general academic area of study it predominantly refers to the science of systems that resulted from Bertalanffy's General System Theory (GST), among others, in initiating what became a project of systems research and practice. Systems theoretical approaches were later appropriated in other fields, such as in the structural functionalist sociology of TalcottParsons and Niklas Luhmann. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_theory
see also Systems Thinking
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