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About the author:
Elisabeth Dostal is a futurist, management educator and management consultant.

She is the founder and director of BiomatrixWeb (, an organisation that applies Biomatrix systems theory to organisational and societal change management.

Her management consulting experience includes interventions on organisational redesign, transformation and problem (dis)solving, as well as strategy development and policy design in various national and international business corporations, governments and NGOs.

She has been associated with the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, since 1977, initially in a full-time capacity as senior researcher at the Institute for Futures Research, later as a part-time lecturer on business futuristics and systems thinking. She has also been a guest lecturer at various other universities in South Africa and Europe. She has attended and addressed a variety of conferences associated with systems thinking and futurism.

Her qualifications include Master of Social Sciences, Kepler University Linz, Austria and PhD in General Systems Theory, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


A Systems Approach to Organisational and Societal Change

Authored by Elisabeth Dostal
Authored with Anacreon Cloete, György Járos

Biomatrix: A Systems Approach to Organisational and Societal Change provides a comprehensive theory of management. It outlines how change in organisations and society needs to be managed in the information age: systemically. It also proposes ideas for new governance models.

Part 1 introduces Biomatrix systems theory. It represents an integration of various concepts and approaches to the systems paradigm - developed by many researchers over the last fifty years - into one coherent meta-systems theory. It also adds some new systems concepts to the general body of knowledge of systems theory.

Part 2 applies the theory to management, organisational development and transformation. It discusses some general models of organisational change and more specifically, it uses the seven aspects of organisation as a framework to describe different aspects of organisational development. The key principles associated with each aspect and their relevance for organisational change, transformation and management are discussed.

Different change interventions and management approaches (e.g. TQM, JIT, business process reengineering, organisational restructuring, supply chain management, score cards, strategic management, to name a few) are associated with different aspects of organisation. Thus, the seven aspects of organisation also provide a framework for contextualising management interventions, highlighting the appropriateness, relevance and limitations of each of them.

Part 3 deals with approaches to systemic problem solving. It highlights differences in approaches to problem solving in natural, social and technological systems, as well as providing some guiding rules regarding their interface. It also provides an overall theoretical framework and practical methodology for (dis)solving organisational and societal problems through ideal systems (re)design and for implementing and managing the planned changes.

The book may be regarded as a textbook for management, leadership and governance in the 21st century. Case studies are provided throughout.

Publication Date:
0620342358 / 9780620342353
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6.69" x 9.61"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Education / Organizations & Institutions

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