Systems Approach to Management

Systems approach to management developed after 1950. Many pioneers during as E.L Trist, AK Ria, F.E. Kast, and R.A Johnsm have made significant contributions to this approach.

This systems approach looks upon the management as a ‘System’ of as an organized whole make up of sub-systems integrated into a unity or orderly totality. The attention should be given so overall effectiveness of the system rather than effectiveness of any sub-system if isolation. It took where management process school left off in attempting to unify management theory. It emphasizes the inter-relatedness and inter-dependence of all activities within an organisation. It is based on system analysis. It attempts to identify the nature of relationships of various parts of the system. A system is a set of inter-connected elements or component parts to achieve certain goals. An organisation is viewed by the modern authors as an open system. An organisation as a system has five basic parts:

  1. Input,
  2. Process,
  3. Output,
  4. Feedback and
  5. Environment.

Systems approach to management provides a conceptual basis as well as guidelines for establishing a more efficient system for planning, organisation, directing and controlling. It forces the manager to look upon his business as an open adaptive system. Information is an important part of the system because an organisation must act and interact with its environment.

Systems are of two types:

  1. Closed system: if closed system has no interaction with the outside world.
  2. Open system: continually interacts with its environment. All living systems are open system.

Features of Systems Approach to Management 

  1. An organisation consists of many sub-systems.
  2. All the sub-systems are mutually related to each other.
  3. The sub-parts should be studied in their enter-relationships rather than in isolation from each other.
  4. The organisation provides a boundary, which separates it from other systems. It determines which parts are internal and which parts are external.
  5. The organisation is responsive to environmental effect. It is vulnerable is the changes in environment.
  6. An organisation is a system consisting of many interrelated and interdependent parts or sub-systems. These elements are arranged orderly according to some scheme such that the is more than the sum of the parts.
  7. As a system an organisation draws inputs (energy. Information, materials, etc.). From its environment. It transforms these inputs and returns the output back into the environment in the form of goods and services.
  8. Every system is a part of a super system.
  9. Organisation is an open system and it interacts with its environment. It is also a dynamic system ass the equilibrium in it is always changing.
  10. Management is expected to regulate and adjust the system to secure better performance.
  11. Management is multidisciplinary as it draws and integrates knowledge from various disciplines.
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