This paper proposes a theory of Joint Systems which is intended to be used to assist the Australian Defence Force to enhance its joint war-fighting capabilities. It should be noted that a theory that is suitable for treating Joint Systems, which are composed of human organisations supported by technology, may differ significantly from a typical physical theory in which the human element is absent. One conclusion arising from the theory is that a conventional systems engineering paradigm is unsuitable for addressing problems that arise in Joint Systems area. This is primarily the case because uncertainties due to human and organisational factors, as well as rapidly changing circumstances, make it impossible to establish the firm, fixed war-fighters’ requirements on whose existence conventional systems engineering methods are predicated. As a consequence of the Revolution in Military Affairs, these uncertainties are radically increased in current times over those that have prevailed historically.
Keywords Theoretical Foundations for Joint Systems Research systems theoretic process analysis
Systems Engineering and Evaluation Centre of the University of South Australia