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Systems theory

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This presentation offers an understanding of the systems theory as it relates to management

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Systems theory

  1. 1. SYSTEMS THEORY BY: CHARLES MHANGO CHARITY KASAWALA VIOLET KHONJE GEORGE NSITU
  2. 2. OUTLINE • Introduction • Background • Characteristics of a system theory • Elements of a system • Types of a system • Strengths • Limitations • Use of the theory in health care improvement
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION • Several management theories have evolved over a period of time • Systems theory is one of the important theories in management • The presentation offers an understanding of the systems theory as it relates to management
  4. 4. BACKGROUND OF THE THEORY • General systems theory was proposed in the 1940s by the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy • It was furthered by Ross Ashby in 1964 • Ludwig von Bertalanffy was reacting against both reductionism and attempting to revive the unity of
  5. 5. BACKGROUND OF THE THEORY • Reductionists believe that a complex system is nothing but its parts
  6. 6. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEMS THEORY • System theory provides approach to understanding, analyzing and thinking about organizations • Systems theory views an organization as an organism made up of numerous parts (subsystems) that must work together in harmony
  7. 7. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEMS THEORY • Departments, work groups, business units, facilities and individual employees can all be viewed as subsystems of the organizations
  8. 8. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEMS THEORY • Believes that organizational success relies on; Synergy (combined output) Interdependence between subsystems Interconnections • within the organization • between the organization and the environment
  9. 9. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS THEORY Communication • Communication mechanisms must be in place for organizational systems to exchange relevant information with its environment • Provides for the flow of information among the subsystems
  10. 10. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS THEORY Systems, subsystems and supersystem • Systems: set interrelated parts that turn inputs into outputs through processing • Subsystems: do the processing • Super systems: are other systems in
  11. 11. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS THEORY Boundaries • Separates system from its environment • Four types; i. Physical Boundary - prevents access (security system) ii.Linguistic Boundary - specialized language (jargon) iii.Systemic Boundary - rules that regulate interaction (titles) iv.Psychological Boundary - restricts
  12. 12. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS THEORY Goal-directedness • Systems are goal oriented and engage in feedback in order to meet the goals of the organisation
  13. 13. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEMS THEORY Holistic view • Systems theory focuses on the arrangement of and relations between the parts that connect them into a whole • The mutual interaction of the parts makes the whole bigger than the parts themselves
  14. 14. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM Input • Maintenance Inputs (energic imports that sustain system) • Production Inputs (energic imports which are processed to yield a productive outcome) Throughput • Work done on those resources used to produce a product
  15. 15. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM Output • Exit or change exiting the system • System returns the product to the environment Process • Provides a series of mechanical or chemical operations on something in order to change or preserve it
  16. 16. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM Feedback • Information about a reaction to a product • Used as basis for improvement • Can be; i. Positive Feedback - move from status quo ii. Negative Feedback - return to status
  17. 17. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM INPUT THROUGHTP UT PROCESS OUTPUT ENVIRONME NT ENVIRONME NT FEEDBA CK SYSTE M
  18. 18. TYPES OF A SYSTEM OPEN SYSTEM • Continuously interacts with the environment • There is exchange of materials, energies and information with the environment CLOSED SYSTEM • Theoretical systems that do not interact with the environment • Not influenced by surroundings
  19. 19. STRENGTHS OF SYSTEMS THEORY • Deals with complexity • Takes a holistic view • Can easily manage change through interaction with the environment • Utilises feedback – easy to improve • Recognises importance of supersystems
  20. 20. LIMITATIONS OF SYSTEMS THEORY IN MANAGEMENT • Not a prescriptive management theory  Does not specify tools and techniques for practicing managers  Too abstract – difficult to apply in practical problems  Does not adequately address power and social inequalities and their causes
  21. 21. HOW CAN SYSTEMS THEORY HELP IMPROVE QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE IN MALAWI? (DISCUSSION)
  22. 22. SUMMARY • Systems Theory is NOT a prescriptive management theory • Attempts to widen lens through which we examine and understand organizational behavior • Emphasizes on communication • Organizations cannot be separated from their environment • Views the organization as a whole • Organizational subsystems cannot operate in isolation
  23. 23. REFERENCE Yoder-Wise, P.S. (2011). Leading and Managing in Nursing (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby. Sullivan, E.J. & Decker, P.J. (1992). Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing (3rd ed.). Redwood: Addison-Wesley. Petula, S. (2005). Can Applying Systems Theory Improve Quality in Health Systems? National Association for Healthcare Quality. Retrieved from www.nahq.org/uploads/JHQQNol.pdf Savigny, D. D., & Adam, T. (2009). Systems Thinking for Health Systems Strengthening. World Health Organization.
  24. 24. THANK YOU

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