What is the systems theory?
As far back as the 1950s scientists began their research into a new interdisciplinary approach initially towards natural sciences but later also towards social and psychological processes. In this way the general systems theory was established, which in the meantime has come to be regarded as an independent scientific discipline.
The systemic view of the world means seeing it in accordance with the following core assumptions:
1. All human beings are part of a system. Their thoughts, feelings and behaviour are determined by the expectations, role models, rules, values, actions and reactions of their social environment, in the private sphere (family) as well as in the professional domain.
2. All systems strive to remain stable and to retain the order inherent in them. It was from this assumption that the cybernetics* concept arose.
3. All human beings perceive the world from the perspective of their own reality, which is individually shaped by their unique experience. On this basis they use their creativity to build their own worlds or their own constructs. The core assumption states that learners generate an individual representation of the world in the learning process. This theory is called constructivism.
What is the significance of these core assumptions for our systemic approach?
In order to detect and solve intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts and problems we observe not only the individual persons but also their social environments. We respect and take into consideration the different perception of reality, the uniquely personal “map”. This is all effected in an entirely non-judgmental manner.
In this process communication can take place both verbally (in a spoken or written form) and non-verbally. Here we make use of our intuition, which enables us to overcome all barriers and achieve understanding on a human level. A systemic-intuitive approach does not inquire into social background, religious affiliation, gender, political views or nationality. The intuitive view sees only the persons and their individual maps. This bias-free attitude supports the perception of the individual constructs.
Concepts from the systems theory are applied in a wide variety of scientific disciplines: “From the very beginning the systems theory has pursued the goal of counteracting the fragmentation of knowledge in scientific disciplines.”
(Günter Ropohl: Allgemeine Systemtheorie – Einführung in transdisziplinäres Denken (= general systems theory – introduction to transdisciplinary thinking) Edition Sigma, Berlin 2012.)
* the designation for a scientific approach describing methods of regulating and controlling complex systems.