Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO22570

Max Schupbach (
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 10:38:12 -0700

Replying to LO22541 --

Dear DP,

I for one would like to hear more about what difference the vocabulary of
'soft systems thinking' makes to the study of personality, in your view.



Dr.Max Schupbach | <>
2049 NW Hoyt Street # 3,PORTLAND,OR,97209 |
Phone (503)223 6548 Fax (503)214 9169 |

> I find this 'trio of friendly rejoinders' very interesting, as interesting
> as the initial question Chuck has posed. I find several questions are
> being posed in various applied disciplines somewhat similar to the one
> Chuck has posed. This seems to relate to a quest for reducing the effort
> required in achieving some special results. If indeed a special 'type' of
> personality better disposed to 'systems thinking' is found, may be some
> difficult 'system problems' can be presented to them and a superior
> 'systems solution' can be expected. If indeed such a superior solution is
> produced, it will be a definite contribution to improve some practical
> situation. Therefore, the quest itself is quite legitimate in my humble
> opinion.
> It is a different issue that we do not always seem to be able to identify
> such special 'types', and even if we seem to do sometimes, they do not
> seem to produce such special results we expect from them without some
> additional effort.
> As to the relationship with systems thinking, it is worth noting that one
> of the well-known systems thinkers, Dr. Russell L. Ackoff, has been
> working on personality typing for several years. I had the opportunity to
> review one of his recent monographs on this subject. The review itself
> appeared in Systems Research:
> Dash,D. P. (1999). Review of Russell Ackoff^s
> Exploring Personality: An Intellectual
> Odyssey, Systems Research and Behavioral
> Science, 16. pp. 395-397.
> In the review, I concluded that the vocabulary of classical science has
> been used in studying personality. Ackoff himself has used it. However,
> the vocabulary of 'soft systems thinking' (of which Ackoff himself is an
> architect) can be used to study personality from a different perspective.
> It seems, in some parts of the monograph Ackoff has used this vocabulary,
> although not very explicitly, to develop his thoughts on personality
> types.
> If there is an interest on this, we might discuss this a little more to
> explore what difference the vocabulary of 'soft systems thinking' makes to
> the study of personality.
> Cheers!
> Prof. D. P. Dash
> Xavier Institute of Management
> Bhubaneswar 751013
> India
> "DP DASH" <>


"Max Schupbach" <>

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