Systems Thinking And Understanding Business Essay


Employees cannot be trusted to do their jobs without micro-management, frequent oversight and constant executive over-ride of logical decisions. Integrity, competence, consistency, loyalty, and openness interfere with team domesticity and company loyalty.


Strong leaders keep their shared vision under wraps, lest ambitious underlings use this information to advance their own careers, or worse yet, improve program performance.


LPOs are skeptical of the need to reinvent them to meet emerging demands and changing roles. Response to change must be measured and deliberate, yet maintain status quo.


Knowledge is power. Only the powerful are permitted to have knowledge. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and would only encourage insubordination by underlings. To maintain the established power structure, management must continue to restrict access to information, so that they remain indispensible, especially in the event of reorganization or political change. Feedback would only encourage dissension and sedition.


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Employees do not need to understand the "big picture". Management will instruct them as to how their individual teams relate to other organizational components and overall goals of the agency.


Members of low performance teams have no interest in understanding of each other's jobs. That would just be an opportunity for management to take advantage of them, getting more work out of them for the same pay. Besides, cross-training would just encourage insubordination and divergent ideas.


Knowledge interferes with productivity, by distracting subordinates from their true role, obeying the administration unquestioningly. Just look at all the problems caused by unions once they found out about OSHA regulations!


Management understands that people are motivated solely by greed. Hence, they must be kept in line my arcane management policies and obfuscated directives. In addition to the seven LPO characteristics described above, staff can be demoralized by employee non-recognition, career stagnation, job dissatisfaction, organizational instability, job insecurity, and exclusion from decision-making.


The customer must be tolerated from an internal and external viewpoint. Internally - other units and staff are the immediate customer, who must cope with inadequate services and poor system design before delivering shoddy products and lackluster services outside the LPO. Externally - the customer - be it consumer, taxpayer public or private entity - must be placated, with egos stroked and press releases extolling the LPO's products and services.


Management is characterized by slavish devotion to new technology, regardless of relevance to mission or product. Managers must be able to brag about high-tech acquisitions during competitive cocktail party conversations. Owning a new hammer makes everything a nail.

The Approaches Used By Management To Resolve The Tension In An Organization

Weick (1979) writes that managing and organising is an ongoing process. The strategy adopted by managers to over come these tension is embodied in their employment policies and practices and the organizational system they put in place. Therefore, we identified four approaches or strategies managers adopt to over come these tensions

The Scientific Management Approach:

This approach addresses the tension in an organization by striving to control people and keep their cost down. The approach encompasses low levels of trust between managers and subordinates. It emphasized the need for rationality, clear objective, the management prerogative and adopted work study and similar methods. Work is often organized such that surveillance of subordinates is made possible. In common with the principles of scientific management, jobs tend to be broken down into narrowly defined tasks. Workers in manual grades are not promoted, and tend to stay in initial jobs (Whitley, 1999). Such a strategy encourage a collective response from workers and hence development of trade unions.

Human Relation Approach

Child (1969) identifies that if people were treated as clock numbers rather than as human being they would not be fully effective at work and could even fight back to the point of subverting management intentions. It also recognized the significance of social relationships at work (the informal organization) (Argyris, 1960). Managers, therefore had to pay attentions to the nature of supervision and the working of groups and teams and to find ways of involving employees through job design, motivation and a democratic, consultative or participative style of working (Schein, 1970).

Human Resource Management Approach

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It is a Modern management technique and emphasizes worker involvement as a route to quality enhancement and increased performance. It is a response to the need to achieve flexibility in an organization and to improve performance through devolving decision making and making employees multi skilled to work across traditional boundaries. It attempts to integrate the need of employees with those of the organization in an explicit manner. It recognizes that people should be invested in as assets so that they achieve their potential for the benefit of the organization.

Humanistic Approach

The fourth, idealistic, humanistic approach aims to construct the organization as an appropriate environment for autonomous individuals to work together collaboratively for their common good. This is the approach of many cooperatives (Huse, 1980)


Before understanding the Best fit school of thought we have to analyze how managers and owners make strategies to overcome tensions within the organization. Successful strategy requires an understanding of the organization as a whole. Managers should :

Analyse The External Environment:

Analyse the external environment your business operates in. Consider the political, legal,

technological, economic influences on your business. Now categorise these into opportunities

and threats.

Analyse The Internal Environment

Now identify the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business. Consider the internal

resources, structure, leadership, skills, knowledge, culture etc.

Conduct A SWOT Analysis

Put your analysis of the external and internal environment into a SWOT analysis. You might

find it useful to prioritise the key strengths and weaknesses of the business, and the main

threats and key opportunities available to the business. Remember that it is important to

be able to justify your decisions. You also need to be clear about differentiating between

business and HR issues, although it is likely that certain HR strengths could be a core

business competence/weakness.

Strategic Choice

Now consider the organisation's strategy, review its vision statement, mission statement, corporate objectives and values. Does a comprehensive analysis of the external and internal

environment of your organisation help you to understand the reasoning behind the

organisation's strategy?

Can you identify the organisation's key sources of competitive advantage? Does this

analysis help you to understand why the organisation has made certain strategic choices? What other information do you think you would need to fully understand the strategy making

process in the organisation?

Do you think the organisation adopts a classical approach to 'strategy-making'?


What changes has the organisation made in terms of culture, structures, leadership and

HR practices to deliver its strategy? Have these changes been effective? Why? Why not?

From the above exercise manager will be able to generate number of strategic choices. From them managers should undergo a formal decision making process to identify the best option. A formal decision making process involves

Issue awareness

Identify the issue which is overlooked and need to address in timely manner for future or an opportunity is there for growth

Issue formulation

Gathering of information related to issue and evaluation of condition relating to it and opinion of Company over it.