A set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.
There are many types of systems: Physiological Systems: The digestive system,neurological system, and circulatory system Economic Systems: Capitalism and Socialism Computer Systems: Network, mainframe, andPC computer systems
By identifying and mapping the cycles of inputs, processes and outputs, we can define a system better and learn a lot about how it behaves
4.Wholeness is defined by the degree to which every part of the systemrelates to the other part.5.Systemazation refers to degree of srtength in the signal paths or relationships among parts of the systemOptimazation=degree of congruence between system synthesis and system purpose.a system should be adapted to it’s environment in such a way to secure the best possible performance for a given performance.The effective the
“When Simplicity is broken up, It is
made into instruments. Evolved
individuals who employ them, Are made
into leaders. In this way, the Great
System is United."
- Lao Tzu
What is a
“SYSTEM”?A system is a set of two or more interrelated elements with
the following properties:
1. Each element has an effect on the functioning of the whole.
2. Each element is affected by at least one other element in
3. All possible subgroups of elements also have the first two
(Russell Ackoff, 1981, pp. 15-16.)
Man made Natural
Eg:Electric system,computer system etc
Eg:solar system,digestive system
Open system Closed system
It is where there is exchange of
materials, energies, Or
informations between the system
and the environment .
It is where there is NO exchange of
materials, energies, Or informations
between the system and
the environment .
So how are we going to deal with
this different types of systems?
General Systems Theory was proposed in the 1940's by the biologist Ludwig
von Bertalanffy and furthered by Ross Ashby.
Other types of systems theory
•Biochemical systems theory
•Dynamical systems theory
•Ecological systems theory
•Modern systems theory
A way of studying a system as one unit, instead of
By examining a system as a whole, it is easier to
understand how each part contributes to the
“Systems theory can reasonably be considered a specialization
of systems thinking, a generalization of systems science,
a systems approach.”
What are the basic elements of any
All systems have
Input is the term denoting
either an entrance or
changes which are inserted
into a system and which
activate/modify a process
Output is the term
denoting either an exit or
changes which exit a
PROCESS: Perform a series
of mechanical or chemical
operations on (something)
in order to change or
about reactions to a
product, a person's
performance of a
task, etc., used as a basis
Throughput: Work done
on those resources used to
produce a product.
Hierarchy: , that is, systems consist of subsystems(SECONDARY
SYSTEM) and systems operate within environments .
Boundaries are the interface between a system and its
subsystems or a system and its environment
goal seeking: that is, they move in the direction of goal
Cybernetics: is the study of feedback & control.For a system to work
properly, it must have control mechanisms.Control mechanisms
Accept information about system outputs
Evaluate information using goal related criteria
Use the feedback as additional inputs
•Input: number of
• pay rates of each
THROUGH PUT:The work done by the
computer to calculate the amount of
pay, and the payroll taxes.
• payroll reports.
FEEDBACK: Check figures provided to
show that the calculations were correct
(number of employee paychecks
processed, total payroll paid, etc.)
Properties of Systems
A system must maintain balance or homeostasis if it is to survive.
A system should survive in the changing environment
That is, a change in one part of the system will result in a change in
another part of the system (propagation of change).
Independence is where a particular part of the system has some
responsibility for some functionally related activity.
Systems working well experience synergy where the total
system output are greater than the sum of all inputs
Hierarchies permit complex sets of sub-systems.A complex
system is difficult to understand as a whole. Therefore it is
better to divide the system into smaller units .Sub-
systemscan be viewed as modules, elements,
Basic Principles of Systems Theory
1. A system is greater than the sum of its parts.
2. Every system, living or mechanical, is an information system
3. A system and its environment are highly interrelated.
4. The greater the degree of wholeness in the system ,the more
efficient the system
5. The greater the degree of systamization,the more efficient the
opreation of the system
6. The effectiveness of the system depends on the optimization of
7. A highly complex system may have to be broken into subsystems
so each can be analyzed and understood before being
reassembled into a whole.
8. Application of system theory can guide decision makers in
understanding ,modifying,and controlling the
THE CONTIGENCY THEORY
The contingency approach in
management says that:
There is no one particularly
best/fixed method to organize and
people, the tasks and structure of an
The environment (external and
internal) has an impact on the
and therefore managers must be
flexible in order to react to the
changes in the environment.
As technology changes and
advances, so must managers.
•As to how the parts of the systems theory are organized should
depend on the
•unique needs of an organization.
•Managers should therefore look at the contingencies in the
•applying the systems theory of management in their
•This would help them to assess the uncertainities that could arise
•process the required decisions to be prepared for the
Practical Systems Thinking
By Alan Waring
Introduction to the Systems Approach
By Lawrence Lipsitz
The Delft Systems Approach: Analysis and Design of
By Hermanus Petrus Maria Veeke