Systems Approach

Systems Approach

Systems approach is one of the modern approaches of the management process. A system is a set of interdependent subsystems. This approach emphasizes the concept of holism and integrated approach. The following are key concepts of this approach (Tripathi and Reddy, 1983).

1. A system is a set of interdependent parts: All parts together form one whole unit that performs some function. in general an organisation is a subsystem composed of four interdependent parts, namely, task, structure, people and technology. The task refers to the main purpose of the organisation. Structure refers to the formal division of authority and responsibility, communication channels and work flow. People are the members of the organisation with their attitudes and values. Lastly the technology refers to the tools, equipment and technique used in performance of the task.

2. Central to the systems approach is the concept of holism: This means no single part of the subsystem can be analysed independently without considering all parts together. It is a way of looking at the organization as a whole.

3. A system can be either open or closed: A closed system is one where the factors outside the system do not affect the system and is independent of environment. An open system is one where in it both affects and is affected by the environment and interacts with its environment. Family is an organization which is an open system and its members interact with the surrounding environment.

4. Every system has a boundary: Boundary can be clearly and more precisely defined in case of physical and biological systems than in case of social systems.
Example: The physical boundaries of the human body can be easily defined rather than the boundaries of an organization/ family.
The concept of boundaries is use full in many ways.

  1. it helps a system in determining where it ends and the other system begins.
  2. It divides those elements that are part of a system from those that are a part of its environment.
  3. It enables a system to protect its transformation process from the vagaries of its environment.
Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 10:59 AM