Inadequate coordination of action against problems
Other Names: Unintegrated planning of action against problems
Nature: Social institutions face growing difficulties as a result of the increasing complexity arising directly and indirectly from development and assimilation of technology. Many of the most serious conflicts facing humanity result from the interaction of social, economic, technological, political and psychological forces and can no longer be solved by fractional approaches from individual disciplines. For example: economic growth can no longer be promoted without consideration of social consequences; technology can no longer be allowed to develop without consideration of the social prerequisites of change or the social consequences of such change.
Claim: The quality of individual life and that of the community is changing rapidly and in many senses deteriorating; foreseeable technological developments will have a still greater influence, presenting both opportunities for a richer life and attendant dangers. The large scale and complexity of problems are forcing decisions to be made at levels where individual participation of those affected is increasingly remote, threatening a crisis in political and social development. In the corporate environment, individual enterprises are tending to become larger and more complex. The multinational industrial activities which are developing can be expected increasingly to influence political relationships between the nations Scientific attack on these problems of complexity and interdependences is a matter of the utmost urgency. A corpus of knowledge already exists capable of immediate exploitation, and there is expectation of further and fruitful development. It is in relation to the development crisis that the planning function and related arts such as forecasting assume new significance. Planning should be concerned with the structural design of the system itself and involved in the formation of policy. However, the need for planning is not generally recognized; furthermore, where orthodox planning methods are pursued they prove quite insufficient, in that they seldom do more than touch a system through changes in the variables; diagnosis is often faulty and remedies proposed often merely suppress symptoms rather than attack the basic cause. But mere modification of policies already proved to be inadequate will not result a correct solution; too often planning is used to make situations which are inherently bad, more efficiently bad. The need is to plan systems as a whole, to understand the totality of factors involved and to intervene in the structural design to achieve more integrated operation. All large, complex systems are capable of some degree of self-adaptation. But in the face of immense technological, political, social and economic stresses, they will have to develop new structures. This can easily lead to grave social disturbances if the adaptation is not deliberately planned, but merely allowed to happen.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 23.08.2001 – 00:00 CEST