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Introductory Chapter: System of System Failures

Written By

Takafumi Nakamura

Published: May 9th, 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.75793

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1. Introduction

Managers are expected to cope with ever-changing complexity and diversity. They are asked to tackle a much greater diversity of problems learning from previous failures. This book provides managers with a bird’s eye view learning from various approaches through utilizing system of system methodologies (SOSM). In order to promote holistic view and promote creativity, Jackson [1, 2] introduced SOSM. SOSM classifies the world of objects into two dimensions: systems and participants. The system dimension has two domains: simple and complex. The participant dimension has three domains: unitary, plural, and coercive. On this basis, holistic approaches can be classified into four types (Figure 1):

  1. Systems approaches for improving goal seeking and viability.

  2. Systems approaches for exploring purposes.

  3. Systems approaches for ensuring purposes.

  4. Systems approaches for promoting diversity.

Figure 1.

Systems approaches related to problem context in the system of system methodologies (SOSM).


2. System of system failures (SOSF)

Based upon the SOSM framework, various approaches are developed for risk management and engineering system failure arena, that is, system of system failures (SOSF) [3, 4, 5].

In the Preface, the editor noted that this book intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in engineering safety by holistically examining system failures for the purpose of preventing further occurrence of system failures. This provides managers a practical reflection to be able to bring to bear, on the complex, diverse and rapidly changing problem situations they confront, holistic approaches based on the variety of possible perspectives.


3. The structure of the book

A short conclusion closes the argument. In this introductory chapter, the editor sought to make clear the structure of the book and the logic underlying that structure. The book structure is summarized by SOSM in Table 1.

Introductory chapter
Improving goal seeking and viabilityChapter 2System and Component Failure From Electrical Overstress and Electrostatic Discharge
Chapter 3Vibration Strength of Pipelines
Chapter 4Probabilistic Methods of Failure Assessment in Aeronautical Engineering Exploring purposes
Exploring purposesChapter 5Failures in a Critical Infrastructure System
Chapter 6Dealing with Uncertainties in A System-of-Systems: Assessing the Robustness of Energy Infrastructure Investments

Table 1.

Structure of the book.


  1. 1. Jackson MC. Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers. London and New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2003
  2. 2. Jackson MC. Creative holism: A critical systems approach to complex problem situations. Systems Research and Behavioral Science. September/October 2006;23(5):647-657
  3. 3. Nakamura T, Kijima K. A methodology for learning from system failures and its application to PC server maintenance. Risk Management. 2008;10(1):1-31
  4. 4. Nakamura T, Kijima K. System of system failures: Meta methodology for IT engineering safety. Systems Research and Behavioral Science. January/February 2009:26(1):29-47
  5. 5. Nakamura T, Kijima K. Method for quantifying risk factors of system failures and its application to ICT. Risk Management. 2015;16:231-271. DOI: 10.1057/rm.2015.1

Written By

Takafumi Nakamura

Published: May 9th, 2018