The Design of Problem-Solving Systems

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.23.10.1099

Problem solving, from a systems point of view, is to be considered as a complex, cognitive-affective process of formation and reorganization of conceptual systems. Conceptualization of problem-solving systems includes the development of a problem solver's possible points of view, their naming by explicitly introduced terms, and finally elaboration of ideal-typical formal design models. This paper suggests a taxonomic framework that elaborates and interconnects six design viewpoints, in order to give the problem solver (comprehended as a systems designer) better conceptual support than the “general” systems concept which is still mechanistically employed. These viewpoints furnish corresponding formal design ideals for the design and improvement of problem-solving processes. They must be completed by both normative premises and behavioral science concepts.

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