Hard systems is a problem-solving approach in systems science. It is opposing soft systems. Although soft systems thinking treats all problems as ill-defined or not easily quantified, hard systems approaches (systems analysis (structured methods), operations research and so on) assume that  
- the problems associated with such systems are well-defined
- they have a single, optimum solution
- a scientific approach to problem-solving will work well
- technical factors will tend to predominate
Developments in hard systems thinking
Hard systems began to emerge as a distinct philosophy in the 1950s.
- Michael C. Jackson (1991). Systems methodology for the management sciences. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
- Michael C. Jackson (2003). Systems thinking: Creative holism for managers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Polinpapilinho F. Katina (2015). Systems theory-based construct for identifying metasystem pathologies for complex system governance (Ph.D.). Old Dominion University, United States -- Virginia.
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