John Mingers

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John Mingers (born 1951) is a British organizational theorist, and Professor of Operational Research and Systems at the Kent Business School at the University of Kent, known for his work in the field of problem structuring methods.


  • By organization Maturana refers to the relations between components that give a system its identity, that make it a member of a particular type. Thus, if the organization of a system changes, so does its identity. By structure Maturana means the actual components and relations between components that constitute a particular example of a type of system. The organization is realized through the structure, but it is the structure that can interact and change. So long as the structural changes maintain the organization, the system’s identity remains.
    • John Mingers, Self-Producing Systems: Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis. Contemporary Systems Thinking. New York: Plenum P, 1995
  • Systems thinking is only an epistemology, a particular way of describing the world. It does not tell us what the world is. Hence, strictly speaking, we should never say of something in the world: “It is a system,” only: “It may be described as a system.”
    • John Mingers (2006) Realising Systems Thinking: Knowledge and Action in Management Science. p. 87.