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Hierarchy

26/10/2015

Hierarchy determines the graded levels of systems and sub-systems.

Need to decide how many levels of hierarchy to analyse:

  • too few results in any overly simplistic analysis resulting in interconnections and complexity being misunderstood
  • too many results in any overly complicated analysis resulting in too much detail obscuring key interconnections

Example: Consider a school as a system

Within the boundary are:

  • administration
  • teaching
  • library
  • etc.

Levels of hierarchy:

  • school system (top level) has following sub-systems
    • administration system (secondary level) has following sub-systems
      • budget control system (third level)
      • human resources system
      • accounts system
    • teaching system
    • library system

The school is the environment for the second level sub-systems and in the example above, administration is the environment for the third level sub-systems.

We need to determine where we wish to stop gathering information in order to complete the analysis of the system of interest.

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