Technology for knowledge innovation : a realistic pluralist scientific problem solving capability

by Van der Walt, Johanna Maria.

Abstract (Summary)
Technology for Knowledge Innovation: A Realistic Pluralist Scientific Problem Solving Capability Promotor: Prof JK Visser Co-promotor: Dr G de Wet Department: Department of Engineering and Technology Management University: University of Pretoria Degree: M.Sc (Technology Management) The aim of this study is to define and describe a scientific problem solving capability to be used by the Institute for Maritime Technology (IMT) in its Decision Support Domain in order to provide a scientific support service to decision makers in the South African Navy. Cognisance is given to the fact that the context within which this scientific service functions is of a complex nature, and so are some of the problems which the Decision Support Domain are required to study. For this reason a methodology developed by the proponents of complexity modelling for management and organisational science, namely to approach the problem through “Perspective Filters” is used. The aim is therefore to identify emergent patterns in the development of various disciplines commonly utilised for problem solving. Their respective developments during the twentieth century are studied with this stated aim in mind. Scientific method is seen to be a dominant perspective in this pursuit. The outcome of the study is a proposed generic, pluralist scientific problem solving process which provides a stable definition of such a service despite its constantly changing environment. This greatly enhances the robustness of the service, which makes it cost-effective to develop. The definition of pluralism which is used in this study, and which underpins the definition of the capability, differs from other current dominant views of pluralism in that it upholds the realist aim of science. Although this process is developed in the specific context of IMT, its generic nature makes it a general knowledge technology for any such a service with the aim of providing a scientific service, not limited to the context within which it is developed. Page 2 of 199 University of Pretoria etd – Van der Walt, J M (2005) Key Words Scientific Method, Pluralism, Scientific Problem Solving, Operations Research, Systems Thinking, Cybernetics, Complexity Theory, Knowledge Management, Innovation, Research and Development, Technology Management, Capability Management, Decision Support, Knowledge Society, Knowledge Technology, Knowledge Industry, Realism, Research Management. Page 3 of 199 University of Pretoria etd – Van der Walt, J M (2005)
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:knowledge management operations research pluralism cybernetics problem solving scientific method


Date of Publication:

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