Phokion "Ion" Georgiou

Full Professor at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, School of Business Administration of São Paulo.


Teaching Programs:

  • Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral programs.
  • Teaching and training experience on-site and online.


Media Availability:

This professor may be contacted by the international media.



  • PhD Behavior in Organizations, Lancaster University (2004)
  • Master of Science (Econ) Operational Research, London School of Economics (1995)
  • Bachelor in Business Administration, University of Missouri (1988)



Methods do not solve problems. Methods offer different kinds of explanation. Humans solve problems.



The essential difficulty with complexity is not in its resolution, for complexity is not irresolvable. Complexity is irresolvable only when accompanied by disorder. Hence, the road toward resolving complexity does not lie with approaches focused upon problem solving. The road lies with approaches that can, first and foremost, transform the disorder into some order. This implies the imposition of structure. Ergo: the need for problem structuring methods.



Creative human-centered approaches that methodologically address complex problems through interdisciplinary scientific research, in order to facilitate systemically desirable and culturally feasible change.


Research and Teaching:

  • Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty, and Negotiation, including
    • Strategic Options Development and Analysis
    • Strategic Choice Approach
    • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Structural Analysis in Data Science
  • Social Network Analysis and Network Science
  • Modeling for Decision Support
  • Methods of Discovery in Social Science
  • Learning and Research Methodology in Higher Education
  • Personal Construct Psychology and Cognitive Mapping
  • Epistemology and Ethics of System Theory and Systems Thinking
  • Empirical, Rational, and Phenomenological Epistemology and Methodology
  • History of Science
  • Economic, Political, and Social History of Europe
  • History of Management
  • Historical Research


Notable Achievements:

  • First to provide a complete methodology for making decisions in the absence of clear facts, in reply to the challenge posited by Warren Bennis (University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business) and James O'Toole (University of Southern California, Center for Effective Organizations) in 2005 in the Harvard Business Review (2006-2008).
  • First to solve the outstanding mathematical challenge posited by famous graph theorist Frank Harary in Nature during the 1960s, with applications to decision-making in situations of complexity and uncertainty (team leader, with J. Heck and A. Mrvar, 2018-2019).
  • First to identify stagnant decision dynamics stemming from degenerative feedback loops in railway infrastructure planning (2007-2009).
  • First to develop a complete epistemology and ethics directed at structured systemic planning for systemic solutions to systemic problems (1998-2004).
  • First to provide a complete sociometric method for the exploration and analysis of compatibility and diversity across multiple, and interrelated, structural configurations of groups geared toward the attainment of some objective requiring cooperative activity (team leader, with R. Concer and A. Mrvar, 2019-2020).
  • First to systematically introduce the relevance and methods of leading historians to the research activity of scholarly literature reviewing (2020-2021).
  • First to develop a complete methodology for the design and construction of bibliographic atlases that facilitate navigation through scholarly literatures (2014-ongoing).
  • First to correct and clarify the links-to-concepts ratio expected in cognitive maps (2008-2009).
  • First to demonstrate the flawed and misleading argumentation, semantic incoherence, naïve simplicity, disproportionate emphasis, implied imputation, misdirected logic, historical misinterpretation, contextual overshooting, methodological incommensurability, false reproaches, misguiding charges, and insufficient etiological approach in the writings concerning management and organization theory of Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Herbert Simon (2012-2013).
  • First to correct the historical facts, erroneous implications, and false assertions concerning the foundational circumstances and proceedings of the modern management field (2013-2014).
  • First to provide a systemic framework for case-based classroom experiential learning (team leader, with C. Zahn and B. Meira, 2007-2008)
  • Research partner to Scotland Yard (UK) for public safety management (with J. Rosenhead, T. Horlick-Jones, J. Ravetz, and R. Löfstedt, 1996-1999)
  • Research partner on European Union INTAS project 96-0952 (with Aristotle University (Greece), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) Institute for Informatics and Automation Problems (Yerevan, Armenia), Computing Center of Academy of Sciences of Russia (Moscow), 1997-2000).
  • Expert in Pajek, the award-winning software dedicated to network modeling and analysis (2010 – ongoing)


Proficient in five languages.

General Professional Experience across Europe, Africa, North America, South America.

Specific Teaching and Research Experience: London School of Economics; London Business School; Kingston University (UK); Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Moscow); Zaragoza University; Rennes Business School (France).

Author of the book Thinking Through Systems Thinking (Routledge 2007) that delineates an epistemology and ethics when undertaking structured systemic planning for systemic solutions to systemic problems.

Member of Editorial Board Systems Research and Behavioral Science.


Selected Scientific Papers (copies available upon request):

NB: This professor publishes under the name Ion Georgiou

  • Georgiou I, Heck J (2021) The emergence of problem structuring methods, 1950s-1989: An atlas of the journal literature. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 38(6): 756-796
  • Georgiou I (2021) The literature review as an exercise in historical thinking. Human Resource Development Review 20(2): 252-273
  • Georgiou I, Concer R, Mrvar A (2020) A systemic approach to sociometric group research: Advancing the work of Leslie Day Zeleny, 1939-1947. Social Networks 63: 174-200
  • Georgiou I, Heck J, Mrvar A (2019) The analysis of interconnected decision areas: A computational approach to finding all feasible solutions. Group Decision and Negotiation 28(3): 543-563
  • Heck J, Georgiou I (2019) Structural cartography for literature review: Revealing the underlying structure of a literature through a bibliographic atlas. RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas 59(2): 121-143
  • Georgiou I (2019) Strengthening the structural focus of systems thinking. Systems Research and Behavioral Science. 36(1): 140-144
  • Georgiou I (2015) Unravelling soft systems methodology. International Journal of Economics and Business Research 9(4): 415-436
  • Georgiou I (2014) Seeing the forest for the trees: An atlas of the politics-administration dichotomy. Public Administration Review 74(2): 156-175
  • Georgiou I (2014) Engineers as economists: A study in Gilded Age sensibilities. Management & Organizational History 9(1): 69-91
  • Georgiou I (2013) A blast at the past: An inquiry into Herbert Simon's arguments against the principles. Public Administration 91(4): 1015-1034
  • Georgiou I (2012) Messing about in transformations: structured systemic planning for systemic solutions to systemic problems. European Journal of Operational Research 223(2): 392-406
  • Georgiou I (2010) Seven and the sausage machine: searching for conclusions in Miller’s 1956 magical paper. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 27(6): 611-621
  • Georgiou I (2009) Mapping railway development prospects in Brazil. Transport Reviews 29(6): 685-714
  • Georgiou I (2009) A graph-theoretic perspective on the links-to-concepts ratio expected in cognitive maps. European Journal of Operational Research 197(2): 834-836
  • Georgiou I (2008) Making decisions in the absence of clear facts. European Journal of Operational Research 185(1): 299-321
  • Georgiou I, Zahn C, Meira BJ (2008) A systemic framework for case-based classroom experiential learning. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 25(6): 807-819
  • Georgiou I (2007) Domino effect: strategic options development and analysis for the Brazilian railways. Eisforia (the journal of the Universidade Federal de Santa Caterina) 5(2): 78-116
  • Georgiou I (2006) Managerial effectiveness from a system theoretical point of view. Systemic Practice and Action Research 19(5): 441-459
  • Georgiou I (2004) Reply to the comments of Ormerod and Atkinson. Journal of the Operational Research Society 55(11): 1233-1234
  • Georgiou I (2003) The idea of emergent property. Journal of the Operational Research Society 54(3): 239-247
  • Horlick-Jones T, Rosenhead J, Georgiou I, Ravetz J, and Löfstedt R (2001) Decision support for organisational risk management by problem structuring. Health, Risk & Society 3(2): 141-165
  • Georgiou I (2001) The ontological status of critique. Systemic Practice and Action Research 14(4): 407-449
  • Georgiou I (2000) The ontological constitution of bounding-judging in the phenomenological epistemology of von Bertalanffy’s general system theory. Systemic Practice and Action Research 13(3): 391-424
  • Georgiou I (1999) Groundwork of a Sartrean input toward informing some concerns of critical systems thinking. Systemic Practice and Action Research 12(6): 585-603
  • Georgiou I (1999) A response to Flood, Taket and Valverde. Journal of the Operational Research Society 50(1): 101-103
  • Georgiou I (1999) Furthering the operational research philosophical agenda. Journal of the Operational Research Society 50(1): 97-98


Other Selected Publications:

NB: This professor publishes under the name Ion Georgiou

  • Georgiou I (2011) Cognitive Mapping and Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA). In: Cochran J, (ed.) Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, Wiley: NY
  • Georgiou I (2009) Management science. In: Wankel C, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Business in Today's World. SAGE: Thousand Oaks.
  • Georgiou I (2008) Intentionality and intuition: An introduction to the cornerstones of phenomenological epistemology. In: Ilharco, F., Introna, L. and Fäy, E. (eds.) Phenomenology, Organisation, and Technology. Universidade Católica Editora: Lisbon
  • Georgiou I (2002) General System Theory. In: Daellenbach, H.G. and Flood, R.L. (eds.), The Informed Student Guide to Management Science, Thomson: London



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