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Systems, Experts, and Computers: The Systems Approach in Management and Engineering, World War II and After

Agatha C. Hughes and Thomas P. Hughes


After World War II, a systems approach to solving complex problems and managing complex systems came into vogue among engineers, scientists, and managers, fostered in part by the diffusion of digital computing power. Enthusiasm for the approach peaked during the Johnson administration, when it was applied to everything from military command and control systems to poverty in American cities. Although its failure in the social sphere, coupled with increasing skepticism about the role of technology and “experts” in American society, led to a retrenchment, systems methods are still part of modern ... More

Keywords: digital computing, Johnson administration, military command, control systems, poverty, American cities, systems methods, managerial practice, systems movement, systems thinking

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780262082853
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262082853.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Agatha C. Hughes, editor

Thomas P. Hughes, editor

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Front Matter


Thomas P. Hughes, and Agatha C. Hughes