A Typology for the Systems Field

David Rousseau, Jennifer Wilby, Julie Billingham, Stefan Blachfellner


The field of systems is still a nascent academic discipline, with a high degree of fragmentation, no common perspective on the disciplinary structure of the systems domain, and many ambiguities in its use of the term “General Systems Theory”. In this paper we develop a generic model for the structure of a discipline (of any kind) and of disciplinary fields of all kinds, and use this to develop a Typology for the domain of systems.

We identify the domain of systems as a transdisciplinary field, and propose calling it “Systemology” and its unifying theory GST* (pronounced “G-S-T-star”).  We propose names for other major components of the field, and present a tentative map of the systems field, highlighting key gaps and shortcomings.  We argue that such a model of the systems field can be helpful for guiding the development of Systemology into a fully-fledged academic field, and for understanding the relationships between Systemology as a transdisciplinary field and the specialized disciplines with which it is engaged.


Systemology, transdisciplinarity, General Systemology, General Systems Transdisciplinarity, GSTD, Systems Philosophy, General Systems Theory, GST

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Systema: connecting matter, life, culture and technology (ISSN: 2305-6991) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.