Functional Gain and Change Mechanisms in Post-Production Complex Systems Open Access

This research was motivated by the need for functional change of complex systems in post-production. Through an initial empirical study, this research found pathways to functional change with minimal change to form; thus avoiding the high risk of material change propagation that has been a concern of both the systems engineering and engineering change literature. This study also revealed the relative importance of system users in the post-production change environment. Through a follow-on study of user innovation in this environment this research was able to reveal pathways for change which are underexplored in both the user innovation and flexibility literature. While not yet a final solution to the motivating problem, this research has revealed levers for change which system users are adept at exploiting. Key amongst the changes employed by user designers is their unconstrained use of themselves (human change) to realize system function and their exploitation of the expansive operational states (operational change) afforded by complex systems. User driven change poses an important source of post-production functional change. This research unpacks user change and sets the stage for further investigation of this source of system changeability.

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