David Ing

Session Description

The original announcement is at

The Tavistock Institute for Human Relations was a major institution in the history of systems thinking.  The rich legacy of the period 1941 to 1989 was edited in a three volume set of The Social Engagement of Social Science: A Tavistock Anthology [archives at]:

While many organization scientists focus on the socio-technical systems perspective, the socio-psychological perspective and socio-ecological perspective coevolved out of field work and theory development.  The sequential publication of three volumes, coinciding with the publication of a series of articles, was not sequential fundings, but instead associated with the types of field work that the researchers were conducting and reporting with their engagements.

This Systems Thinking Ontario session will discuss the three perspectives as a whole.

Suggested pre-reading: 

Two articles are suggested as background for discussion.

In 2012, a group of systems thinker focused on these perspectives, culminating to a report:

A prominent researcher in the field, Eric Trist, provided a summary of the socio-technical systems perspective when he was at York University, working with the Ontario Ministry of Labour in the early 1980s.

Diligent researchers may be interested in the 1992 interview of Eric Trist at 83 years old by Stuart Winby (HP) at


David Ing, ""Systems Thinking and Social Relations", Systems Thinking Ontario , Toront, Ontario, April 17, 2014.


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2014/04/17 Systems Thinking and Social Relations