"A behavior that is partly a function of individual nature and partly a function of the nature of the embedding system" (K. BAUSCH- Glossary- Pers.comm., 2002)
A hierarchized (i.e. multi-level) system with a number of components at each level, connected with components of the upper and lower levels.
The term was introduced by KOESTLER (1969, 1978)
Holarchies are characterized by the embedding (or embedment) of groups of elements at a superior level, where they are considered as individual elements, or subsystems in relation to a still higher embracing level. They can be representd as inverted trees, generally with a fractal architecture.
The holarchic model applies to biological and social systems, but not to congeries, nor in general to colonial systems, to composite systems affected by critical episodes, or to ecosystems.
A Csanyi 's zero-system may become holarchical when stabilized.
In a recent paper, F. PICHLER elaborated on the holarchical model corresponding to "self-regulating open hierarchic order"(SOHO), using it in relation to multi-agents systems, that can be considered on their way to become holarchic. (2000, p. 80-84)
The concept seems to be more meaningful for groups and societies than for individuals. Any human group must adapt to specific environmental conditions and consequently develops a behavior adequate at the same time to its necessities and to the constraints of its environment.
This is why some authors have written about "islands cultures", "cultures of rice", "desert cultures", etc.
In such cases any individual behavior remains circumscribed within the general behavioral rules of the whole group.
The concept could also possibly be used for more specific groups: each entreprise, or administrative service, or even sport or entertainment groups seem to develop this type of behavior.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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