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POLS 2250 Lecture Notes - Homeostasis, Royal Canadian Mint, Infrastructure Canada

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2250
Tim Mau

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Systems Theory January 28,
Dominant organization theory in the 1960s
Daniel Katz and Robert Kahn concept of the „open‟ system (vs.
closed system)
Focus is on the external environment of the organization
Katz & Kahn’s Open System
9 common characteristics
o Importation of energy
o Throughput
Some work gets done in the system
o Output
Products take in product and put it through the
throughput process and exporting it out
o Cycle of events
Products ultimately have a cycle that they follow
products provide new sources of energy to create new
o Negative entropy
All systems will lead to a breakdown without
continuous acquisitions of inputs
o Information input, negative feedback and coding
Organizations will get information about input and the
Negative feedback is the simplest sort of information
customer/employee surveys
o Steady state, dynamic homeostasis
System ultimately becomes self regulating in nature
Preserving the character of the system through growth
and expansion
o Differentiation
Social organizations lead to greater specialization of
o Equifinality
Notion that a system can reach the same end stage
through a variety of different ways
Organizing to Govern
Governments have any options at their disposal
Design options
o Organizational structure department, crown corporation,
regulatory agency, separate agency, special operating
o Accountability relationships
o Personnel
o Fiscal resources
o Support services
o Operational plan
Complex undertaking
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