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General Systems Theory - Essay Example

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Week 11 1. First page, conventional problem solving vs SSM? How do they differ? The basic difference between conventional problem solving methodologies in management science and soft systems methodology is in their approaches towards the problem. The conventional systems are oriented on seeking ways to achieve the desired goals which are previously fixed, being within the problem context…
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General Systems Theory
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Download file to see previous pages Thus Soft Systems Methodology is more holistic in comparison with the conventional approach. It understands the features and the systems associated with the problem environment and use this understanding to tackle problem situations. 2. Issues around models vs empirical reality, and what is meant by the term “human activity systems”. Does he use the term differently from Checkland? The concept of human activity system is based on the assumption that real life problems situations arise as a consequence of a human action which is perceived to be meaningful. According to Checkland, the human activity systems are defined according to the meaning that the observer connects with the human action. However, the paper states that this approach is wrong. This approach limits the scope of modeling a human action based on a certain perspective. The same model would go wrong with people looking at the same action at a different perspective. Checkland used the term Weltanschauung to explain the perspective which makes a particular perspective meaningful. The article argues that a model which combines human activity systems and Weltanschauung of the observer can only properly explain a real life human activity. 3. The process of inquiry and models of SSM. Which of these models might be useful for the GST systems project? The process of inquiry includes five steps. The first is to have an investigation on the situation and have intuitive information on the situation. Second step is to name specific ideas within the situation which is relevant to understand the situation. Thirdly, formalize the ideas into models. The fourth step is to compare the formalized models with the features of the situation. The last step is evaluating the attitude towards the situation based on the new formalized model from the process of inquiry 4. “Problem solving” vs “changing a problem situation” ? what is the difference? Problem solving is the convention managerial approach of formalizing systems in order to attain the achieved objectives of a system being in a problem context. Changing a problem situation involves intervention in creating a model helping the actors in a situation to understand the problem situation in such a way that they can intervene to tackle the situation. ? Concern seems to be shifted towards process issues – is this reasonable? By what viewpoints? The focus of Soft Systems Methodology is on changing the mechanisms associated with the problem and not on finding specific solution to the problem. Thus the approach would identify issues in these mechanisms which could be a part of the process. Thus in the Soft Systems Methodology the concern shifts towards process issues. This is quite reasonable as the conventional method limits in developing formalities so as to solve the problem where as SSM offers holistic change in the processes which in turn would offer sustainable development in the systems. Week 10 What benefits did the use of SSM bring to this review (benefits that would not have been evident if another approach was used)? When Eva’s reorganization project was planned, its scope was limited to the Information systems department with the Information Department. The research department was out of the problem situa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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