general systems theory and biomatrix systems theory

genral systems theory (GST)general systems theory (GST) biomatrix systems theory (BST)

The figure above gives an example of the difference in emphasis between a typical approach representing general systems theory and Biomatrix systems theory.

General systems theory tends to look at a system and its interacting systems within a delineated system inquiry. A systems dynamics model typically depicts a system as a circle and the impacts between them as arrows, without distinction according to levels in the systems hierarchy.

Biomatrix systems theory emphasises the linking up of activity systems throughout the biomatrix (web of life) as supply chains and the emergence of entity systems from the interaction of activity systems.

It also distinguishes between a web perspective of interacting activity and entity systems and a field perspective of interacting organising information fields that in-form (i.e. put form into or manifest) all systems within the biomatrix.

These distinctions give rise to different methodologies for system analysis, problem solving and system (re)design.

Biomatrix systems theory does not replace the thinking evolved through general systems theory. Rather, it extends, contextualises and clarifies it.


The video playlist below forms the first module of our Biomatrix systems thinking and problem solving course. More videos on the Biomatrix systems approach are available for free on the BiomatrixWeb YouTube channel.

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To learn more about Biomatrix systems approach, visit and browse the free presentation.

To learn more about application of Biomatrix frameworks to organisational development and change management, consider purchasing one of our books, or facilitate one of our management education courses or development programmes in your organisation.