Systems theory

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Systems theory

  1. 1. GENERAL SYSTEMS THEORY Engr. Marvin Darius M. Lagasca Professor: Jo B. Bitonio ME 215 Management of Change & Transition
  2. 2. Ludwig von Bertanlaffy <ul><li>Put forward in 1968 a theory known as </li></ul><ul><li>General Systems Theory . The theory </li></ul><ul><li>attempted to provide alternatives to </li></ul><ul><li>conventional models of organization. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Principles of General Systems Theory <ul><li>Laws that govern biological open systems can be applied to systems of any form. </li></ul><ul><li>Open-Systems Theory Principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parts that make up the system are interrelated . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health of overall system is contingent on subsystem functioning . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open systems import and export material from and to the environment . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permeable boundaries (materials can pass through) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative openness (system can regulate permeability) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synergy (extra energy causes nonsummativity--whole is greater than sum of parts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equifinality vs. “one best way.” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Systems Theory Emphasizes: <ul><li>Synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Interdependence </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>within the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>between the organization and the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organization as ORGANISM </li></ul>
  5. 5. General Theoretical Distinctions <ul><li>Previous theories prescribe organizational behavior, organizational structure or managerial practice (prediction and control). MACHINE </li></ul><ul><li>Systems theory provides an analytical framework for viewing an organization in general (description and explanation). ORGANISM </li></ul>
  6. 6. Strengths <ul><li>Recognizes . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interdependence of personnel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>impact of environment on organizational structure and function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>effect of outside stakeholders on the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focuses on environment and how changes can impact the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks to explain “synergy” & “interdependence” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadens the theoretical lens for viewing organizational behavior. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Summary <ul><li>Systems Theory is NOT a prescriptive management theory </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to widen lens through which we examine and understand organizational behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Key Concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Synergy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interconnections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization is treated not as a machine but an organism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizations cannot separate from their environment </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational teams or subsystems cannot operate in isolation </li></ul>
  8. 8. Contingency Theory <ul><li>First extension of Systems Theory into Management Practice - CONTINGENCY THEORY </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one best way to structure and manage organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure and management are contingent on the nature of the environment in which the organization is situated. </li></ul><ul><li>Argues for “finding the best communication structure under a given set of environmental circumstances. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Two Contingency Theories <ul><li>Burns and Stalker (1968) Management of Innovation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational systems should vary based on the level of stability in the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two different types of management systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanistic systems - appropriate for stable environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organic systems - required in changing environments (unstable conditions) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management is the Dependent Variable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Variations in environmental factors lead to management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Lawrence and Lorsch (1969) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key Issue is environmental uncertainty and information flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on exploring and improving the organization’s relationship with the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment is characterized along a certainty-uncertainty continuum </li></ul></ul>

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