Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management 2017 International Annual Conference


1-10 pp.

Conference Name

38th American Society for Engineering Management International Annual Conference, 18-21 October 2017, Huntsville, Alabama USA


This paper explores the issues related to systemic intervention for Complex System Governance (CSG) development. Systemic intervention seeks to intentionally engage a system to influence trajectory or outcomes. CSG is an emerging field focused on the design, execution, and evolution of the functions necessary to provide continued system performance (stability) in the midst of incessant turbulence and increasing complexity. Integral to this field is the necessity to ‘intervene’ in a complex system to enhance system behavior, structure, or performance. Arguably, system interventions have an unremarkable record of success, ranging from declared success in improving a situation (system) to abysmal failure (doing more harm than good).

However, little emphasis has been placed on a more rigorous exploration of the nature of systemic intervention as it influences our ability to more effectively enact change in complex systems. To address this sparse accounting in the literature, following an essential introduction to Complex System Governance, this paper pursues three primary objectives. First the nature of ‘systemic intervention’ is examined. Second, the different forms and roles in systemic intervention for complex systems are explored. Third, an approach for beginning an intervention in CSG (CSG Entry) is examined for broader implications for engaging complex systems and problems. The paper concludes with critical issues and suggests considerations for more effective systemic intervention.


Included with the kind permission of the publisher.

Copyright, American Society for Engineering Management, 2017.


0000-0001-9452-9105 (Keating)

Original Publication Citation

Keating, C. B., Katina, P. F., Pyne, James C., & Jaradat, R. M. (2017). Systemic intervention for complex system governance development. In E-H. Ng, B. Nepal, & E. Schott (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management. (pp. 1-10). American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).