Systems theorists see common principles in the structure and operation of systems of all kinds and sizes. They promote an interdisciplinary science adapted for a universal application with a common language and area of concepts. This approach is seen as a means of not only overcoming the fragmentation of knowledge and the isolation of the specialist, but also finding new solutions to problems created by the earlier "solution of problems". This book introduces the systemic alternative. It is divided into two parts. The first is devoted to the historical background of the systems movement and presents thoughts and theories of the area. Basic concepts of general systems theory with well-known laws and principles are discussed, as well as related topics such as cybernetics and information theory. The second part deals with some of the common applications of systems theory within systems science, such as artificial intelligence, management-information systems and informatics. An attempt is made to predict the future of systems theory in a world apparently becoming fragmented and integrated at the same time.