Systems Approach to Management Thought

Systems approach to management commonly known as a system is a collection of parts that operate inter-dependently to achieve a common purpose. The parts of a system are sub-systems.

These subsystems are functionally related to each other and to the total system. An organization may, therefore, be viewed as a system made up of different parts in the form of departments or divisions.

Systems approach to management

According to the Systems Approach school, management involves managing and solving problems in each part of the organization. But this is to be done with the understanding that actions taken in one part of the organization affect other parts of the organization.

In solving problems, therefore, managers must view the organization as a dynamic whole, focusing on the inter-dependence and inter-relationship of the various subsystems from the point of view of overall effectiveness of the organization.

In solving problems, therefore, managers must view the organization as dynamic whole, focusing on the inter-dependence and inter-relationship of the various subsystems.

Adherents of the Systems Approach consider Universal Process, Scientific Management and Human Relation theories as the study of management in fragments rather than in the round. These theories assume that “the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.”

Systems theorists, in contrast, “study management by putting things together, and they assume that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” To understand a system, it must be studied as a whole and instead of explaining a whole in terms of its parts, the parts should be explained in terms of the whole.

Chester I, Barnard, Ludwig Von Bertalanffy Russel Ackoff, Kenneth Boulding and William S’cott are among the writers who have influenced the Systems School of management.

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