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< previous page page_170 next page > Page 170 of viewpoints as part of the decision-making and intervention process. Another key observation that Checkland puts firmly on the agenda is that "system" as a concept is better reserved for ordered, abstract thinking about the world rather than as a way of stating how the world is. The argument is that as soon as we assume a world comprising systems then we will start investigating that world by looking for systems. Our methodologies will be system-seeking ones, even when we wish to study social situations. So we will inevitably identify functional social systems, be they organisations, groups of friends or, presumably, ethnic groups and nations. This is abhorrent to interpretive thinkers, such as Checkland, who understand social situations through action concepts (words that describe actions) which are meaningful in terms of social rules and practices (the described actions are understood through agreed interpretations of intentions or
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