Sub Systems And Interaction With Other Systems

Sub Systems And Interaction With Other Systems

Sub Systems:

All systems will have subsystems and play the functional role in the system may be a subsystem of a larger system. The family is a subsystem of the community system and the community is the subsystem of a geographic area like a village, city etc, and so on. The family system contains the personal and managerial subsystem. The function of the managerial subsystem is to plan and implement the use of family resources to meet the family demands.

Interaction with Other Systems:

Families continuously interact with the physical environments and with other systems like religious, socio-cultural, political system. The environment here is defined as the set of conditions and properties that are not part of the system but are still able to influence the system. In an open system all the living systems, whether biological organizations or social or business organizations are actually dependent upon their external environment for information, material and energy. These enter the system from the environment as inputs and leave the system as outputs.

Input, throughput, Output:

Every family has various demands and needs resources to meet them. When these demands and resources enter into the family sphere, we call them as inputs. Input is basically matter, energy and information, which denotes the resources and demands in the family system. The family uses these resources and meets the demands. The resources and met demands leave family system and go out into the environment as output. The process of passing the resources through the family sphere is known as the throughput. Or transformation, as shown in the following figure

System approach to Management responds to the following.


Recognizing question- why and what. Recognizing important priorities clarifies how household activities need to be organized to achieve the quality of life desired. Many family and individual goals relate to household activities or task performance. The ratings for nine goals, according to their importance, follow:

  1. Affection. Having family members satisfied with the amount of love they give to each other.
  2. Companionship. Having family members enjoy doing things together and feel comfortable with each other.
  3. Happy children. Helping the children become well adjusted and enjoy their lives.
  4. Personal development. Giving each family member the opportunity to develop as an individual.
  5. Religion. Living according to religious principles and teaching
  6. Economic security. Keeping up or improving the family’s standard of living.
  7. Attractive home. Having place that is comfortable and attractive to live in.
  8. Wise financial planning. Making sound decisions in budgeting for present and future purchases and making intelligent use of money.
  9. A place in the community. Giving family members a respected place in the community.


Seeks and pursues solutions to how, how much, when and where. The role of home management is to appraise the resources available in a situation, to judge their use in keeping with the goal or event demands, and to develop a plan to be implemented- the throughput of the system.

Planning and implementing household activities involve the concepts discussed previously- standard setting and sequencing actions, controlling and facilitating.


Provides answer to the questions raised in input and throughput. Output from household activities includes the accomplishment of the task resulting in some degree of satisfaction, resource use, and at times, fatigue or stress from doing the task.

Example of input, throughput and output in a family system.

The family gets its income in the form of salary in the beginning of the month. At the same time the family has to pay the rent and other bills. Here inputs are in the form of salary as resource and rent and other bills as demands. The head of the family or home manager uses the resources to meet the demands. Thus process of using the resources (making payment in cash or cheque) is the throughput. The used resources and met demands (receipts) are the output.

In this process, if the family has anticipated all inputs, it will derive satisfaction for the output and it will promote readiness for next installments. If there is some dissatisfaction due to may raised rent or less salary, then the family may have to plan for making payments by increasing resources in future. This process of output returning in part to the family as input is called ’feedback’.

The nature of feedback:

The feed back can be either negative or positive. It is the acceptance or rejection of the probable output. Feeling of satisfaction regarding the output is the positive feedback and dissatisfaction is the negative feedback.

Negative feedback has been defined as a stabilizing influence that triggers measures to maintain the system in a desired state. Positive feedback reflects deviations from anticipated effects and promotes change.

Last modified: Saturday, 24 March 2012, 10:59 AM