Complex Systems

Studying Social Complexity: From Soft to Virtual Systems Methodology Download PDF

Vladimir Dimitrov
Robert Woog
Centre for Systemic Development,
University of Western Sydney--Hawkesbury,
Richmond 2753, Australia


Virtual system methodology (VSM) tries to extend system inquiring processes beyond the scope of soft systems methodology, and thus make it applicable to the whirling dynamics of social complexity. At the core of VSM is the process of virtual semiosis, the use of various signs and sign structures while making sense of the emergent behavior of a complex dynamic system as a whole. VSM applies virtual logic and operates with virtual meanings when exploring human systems. Various practical aspects of this kind of exploration are discussed, with a special accent on how to work with social self-organization.