A Meta-System for Synthesizing Eastern and Western Systems Science


Cathal MacSwiney Brugha

Brief bio: Dr Cathal M. Brugha, Professor Emeritus at UCD, http://mis.ucd.ie/staff/cbrugha was founder Director of the Centre for BusinessAnalytics in the School of Business, University College Dublin. He has a BScand MSc in Mathematical Science from UCD, an MBA from TCD, and a PhD inCombinatorial Optimisation from UCD. As President of the Analytics Society ofIreland since 1992 he represents Ireland annually at council meetings of theEuropean Association of Operational Research Societies (EURO) and theInternational Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS). He wasEditor of the IFORS Journal, International Transactions in Operational Research2000 to 2006. He is a Fellow of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, and was formany years Chair / Member of the Institute’s Education Committee, and an ExternExaminer. His main theoretical research is in Nomology, the study of thedecision processes of the mind, the structures or “covering laws” that framepeople’s thinking and provide commonalities between different fields andcultures. He is currently testing these structures through empiricalsurveys of business relationships and inter-cultural trust between China andIreland. His applied work is focused on generic decision methodologiesand on multi-criteria measurement. He is a member of internationalsocieties and working groups for European and Global conferences since 1992including: Multi-Criteria Decision-Making, and Complex Societal Problems, andhas participated in East-West conferences since 1998 including Knowledge andSystems Science, the International Society for Systems Science, Meta-Synthesisand Complex Systems.He has been a Visiting Professor at the China Academy ofScience in Beijing in 2006 and Xidian University, Xi’an in 2009. He is carryingout research in China with Professors Rong Du and Shizhong Ai of XidianUniversity, Xi’an, who spent 2007 researching with him in UCD Business School,funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council. He is also doing survey andinterview research into Irish Business in China with Dr Lan Li of UCD’sInstitute for Chinese Studies and Dr. Liming Wang Director of the UCD ConfuciusInstitute for Ireland. Together they recently published a book: "Doing Businessin China: The Irish Experience”.


Abstract: Nomologyis a generic framework for all decision structures, both Eastern and Western.Its origins are given, from Aristotle who described decisions as having‘regularities’, to Kant whointroduced ‘cognitive structures’. The talk forms aninter-cultural bridge between Eastern and Western systems by giving differentillustrations of nomological structures. Eastern systems described includeYin/Yang, the Ba Gua, Wuli-Shili-Renli, and the Nanatsudaki model. Westernsystems described include the dialectic, systems development life-cycle, andMaslow’s hierarchy of needs. Inter-cultural systems shown include Hofstede,Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner. Management systems that exhibit the structuresare the European Foundation for Quality Management, and Pfeffer’s 7 Practicesof Successful Human Resource Management Organizations. Applications of usingthe structures for multi-criteria decision-making are given: for making choicesin a water project linking five rural villages in Tanzania, and for assistingmanagement strategy in a Management Information Systems-based ManagementInnovation in the Fiscal Department of Shaanxi Provincial Government’sDepartment of Fiscal Affairs.


Knowledge Sharing for Mobile Workers:

The Basis of Thriving in the Internet+ Economy


Robert M Davison

Brief bio: Robert Davison joined the Department of Information Systemsin July 1992 where he is currently a Professor. Since 1998, he has received approximately$4.2 million in grants as PI. Professionally, Robert serves as theEditor-in-Chief of the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in DevelopingCountries and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Information Systems Journal andInformation Technology & People. Since 1993, he has published 1 book, 16book chapters, over 80 journal articles, over 80 conference papers, and edited6 special issues of journals. The journal articles alone have been cited inSCI/SSCI 748 times (H=15), in Scopus 1383 times (H=20) and in Google Scholar3700+ times (H=31). His current research focuses on Knowledge Seeking andSharing activities in Chinese SMEs. Robert is Programme Leader of the MSc inElectronic Business and Knowledge Management. In 1999-2000, he won the Facultyof Business' Junior Faculty Research Award and in 2004-2005, City University ofHong Kong's Teaching Excellence Award.

Abstract: In the Internet+ Economy, agility and flexibility will bekey attributes of those who thrive. Effective mobile workers, many of themdigital natives, will have the skills to locate critical resources not incorporate databases but in their distributed knowledge networks. Who you know(and how you know them) will trump what you know or what the organizationknows. Online knowledge sharing practices will determine offline success.Freelance mobile workers will offer their services to whoever gives them notonly financial but also knowledge security: the right, responsibility andopportunity to develop, maintain, secure and enhance reliable knowledgenetworks for future value creation and personal success. These mobile workerswill seek to maximize their competitiveness by ensuring that they satisfy theircurrent clients, leverage their skills and knowledge networks effectively and efficiently,and prepare themselves for the future. In this keynote, I map out both currentknowledge sharing practices amongst workers along a continuum of mobility andforecast how their future behavior may evolve.


The blind men and a hippopotamus:

Celebrating diversity in knowledge acquisition and application in working with wicked problems


Wei-Ning Xiang

Brief bio: Wei-Ning Xiang is a National Distinguished Professor of Landscape and Urban Planning at the East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China, and professor of geography and earth sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA. At ECNU, he serves as the founding dean of the School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences (SEES), and the founding director of the Global Institute for Urban and Regional Sustainability (GIURS); and directs the Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration (SHUES). He received his BS degree in geography from Beijing Normal University, China; a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA; and a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley, USA. Dr. Xiang’s scholarly activities have been found in the areas of landscape and land use planning, geographic information science, spatial modeling, complex adaptive systems, and recently sustainable urban development in China. His scholarly contributions appeared in International Journal of Geographic Information Science, Environment and Planning B, Journal of Environmental Management, and Landscape and Urban Planning, among others. Dr. Xiang was a research fellow at a number of research institutions and programs, including the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) at the University of California at Berkeley, the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Oxford Scenarios Program (OSP) at the University of Oxford, UK. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Landscape and Urban Planning since 2011.

Abstract: The daunting social reality of wickedness is ubiquitous in almost every pressing issue area that matters to the humans, ranging from climate change adaptation and mitigation, to poverty, terrorism, and to globalization and urban sustainability.The social process of working with wicked problems resembles in many ways that in the Blind men and a hippopotamus parable—the “wicked version” of the Blind men and an elephant fable. In this process, there are various forms of knowledge and multiple ways of knowing that people can choose from and yet, each has different strengths and limitations; despite people’s individual preferences, no single form of knowledge or way of knowing alone is sufficient to fulfill the requirement of understanding and action. This raises questions pertaining to knowledge synthesis and integration: is it possible that this diversity in knowledge acquisition and application can be cheerfully celebrated and fully embraced? If so, under what overarching epistemological framework and exactly how can an integration take place?  In this presentation, drawing on the literature of systems analysis and social learning, and in particular, on recent discourse of collaborative rationality, I explore ways by which such a synthesis and integration can be carried out.


Healthcare in Transition


Doug Vogel

Brief bio: Doug Vogel is Professor of Information Systems (IS) and an Association for Information Systems (AIS) Fellow as well as AIS Past President and, currently, Director of the eHealth Research Institute in the School of Management at the Harbin Institute of Technology. He has published widely and been recognized as the most-cited IS author in Asia Pacific. His research interests reflect a concern for encouraging efficient and effective utilization of computer systems in an atmosphere conducive to enhancing the quality of life with a focus on wellness.

Abstract: Healthcare is in a state of global crisis and transition with no country in the world able to deal with the onslaught of chronic illness complications using traditional approaches.  Fortunately, technology in general, and mobile devices in particular, provide an opportunity for new thinking that extends beyond traditional treatment to embracing wellness in moving from disease treatment to disease prevention.  In this context, integrated collaborative applications in educational and healthcare systems play an important role since technology, alone, cannot solve the problem.  However, technology can be the catalyst and enabler for innovative approaches to a sustainable healthcare model engaging key stakeholders in formulating strategy, collaborative action plans and feedback for sustained behavioral change. This presentation will address salient issues with examples from research in progress. Attention will focus on processes and data management as well as technology in the creation of systems that can meet a broad range of societal needs.

Close Window


The 16th International Symposium on Knowledge and Systems Sciences September 24-26, 2015, Xi’an, China, xi/an, China | Support by XI'AN JULI