Systems research procedures seek to develop behavioural abstractions of systems which can provide guidance for decision-making for a range of values rather than an optimum solution relative to any specified value system. (They differ from operations research in that they are descriptive rather than prescriptive.) Specifically they provide statements of relationships between system task and resource variables. These relationships are derived from empirical data and organized according to logical rules.
Systems researchers, although usually trained as disciplinary specialists, work and communicate within multidisciplinary groups which seek to develop factual and general knowledge of systems, knowledge that does not lend itself to disciplinary classification. This knowledge provides a basis for more effective designs and operations of systems, so that it provides both a technology and a science of systems.