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Chapter 3 - Organisational System.docx

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Western University
Kinesiology 2298A/B
Laura Misener

Chapter 3 - Organizational Systems* September-24-13 8:39 AM A system is composed of:  A number of parts  Relationships between these parts  Attributes of the parts and their relationship to whole  The meaning of a single part and its how it relates to the system as a whole  "a set of interrelated and interdependent parts arranged in a manner that produces a unified whole."  Robbins, Coulter, + Langton, 2006, p. 39  "this interdependence of the elements is therefore a defining characteristic of a system"  Morecroft, sanchez, + heene, 2002, p.8  System = seeing, understanding, and working with the whole  Need pieces of the system to work at optimal levels for the rest of the system to work at all Why is it important to look at organizations as systems? Closed vs. Open Systems  Closed: relatively impervious to the environment  Are relatively stable  Don't really exist in real life because all organizations are affected to the environment (ie social, cultural, and economic conditions)  Open:  Reacts to change: whether it be external or internal  Relatively open to the influence of the surrounding environment - social, cultural, and economic conditions  All organizations are open systems Distal and Proximal Environments of a System  Proximal environment: things that happen internally in the organization  Have more control over the things in the proximal enviornment  Distal environment: external factors  Ie political, law changes  Don't have much control over these Key components of the General (distal) environment  Economic: wage, labor, physical cost, market prices, state of the economy  Ie when minimum wage increases  Social: demography of the population, social values  Ie player safety  Political: democracy, corruption, influence of political parties  Ie countries boycott the olympic games b/c of political unrest  Ie when a gov't is in power, different priorities  Legal: influence of politics, laws (eg. Labour, employment)  Ie labor laws  Technological: production, distribution of goods, services  Ie fast skin suits in swimming Key components of the Task (proximal) environment  Customer: client characteristic - those who buy goods + services  Seen two extremes in the clientele; 1) those who have no knowledge or 2) those who are really knowledgeable  Competition: others producing similar services  Labor: employees and their reactions  Suppliers: of resources (inputs) Processes in Open Systems  Negative entropy: stop process toward disorder and decay; management must adapt to change; to combat this:  Self regulation: of internal processes, changes in personnel, organizational structure  Progressive segregation: greater specialization and regulation of work units  Separate off into more distinct work units that function like smaller units  Progressive mechanization: as systems grow, there is a need for more and better control  Ex. auto industry mechanized itself: ie one person does one thing Processes in Open Systems  Equifinality:  2 systems start from different positions can end up at same final position  Objectives can be achieved in different, multiple ways  Ex. 2 sport teams that can have different coachings/beleifs but all working towards the final goal of getting into the finals  Multifinality:  Similar internal conditions can lead to different final states  Differentiating stores (ie 2 yoga stores beside each other have to differentiate from each other, (ie normal vs hot yoga) in order to survive)  Take home point: managers must reject 'one right way' - can succeed (and fail) in several ways  Need to decide to go towards equifinality or multifinality Organizations as Systems of Inputs - Throughputs - Outputs  An open system is in an exchange relationship with its environment  The system receives the necessary inputs (resources) from the environment  External things that come into the company  Ie. Material, human, values, expectations  It then processes those inputs into certain outputs (finished products) for the benefit of society  Ie products (goods/services), maintenance  Inputs: resources that flow into organizations  Material resources (money, facilities, equipment, etc…)  Human resources (professional employees, volunteers)  Values, norm (constrain the organization to operate in certain ways)  Expectations (societal, community, clients, alumni, organization)  These people input expectations onto the organizations and now need to make it work  Throughputs: transforming inputs into outputs  The functional processes that happen internally in an organization  Structures and systems (authority, rewards)  Processes (ie. Planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating)  Human interactions: changes the way that outputs are produced  Ie all the resources come in and us (as humans) must decide what to do with it  Outputs:  Products (goods and services)  Must fit within environment, demand  Maintenance  Must adapt to external influences in order to survive and grow  If don
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