System Theory and organisations

The word ‘Organisation’ refers to a collection of people who are involved in pursuing defined objectives. It can be understood as a social system which comprises all formal human relationships. The organisation encompasses division of work among employees and the alignment of tasks towards the goal of the company.

Systems theory is an approach to organisations which likens the enterprise to an organism with interdependent parts, each with its own specific function and interrelated responsibilities. The system may be the whole organisation, a division, department or team, but whether the whole or a part, it is important to understand how the system operates, and the relationship each of the parts have within the organisation.

Like living systems, most organisations, if not all, operate in constant interchange with their environment. They have many complex interactions and inter-relationships within their boundaries. To survive, organisations must grow and achieve a dynamic equilibrium rather than simply return to a steady state.

As a result, the model is a shift away from the traditional approach where the employees were only primarily motivated by financial and other benefits.

The system model views employee needs in a broader context than just financial return – the model views employees as wanting a good working environment where there is integrity , supported by tools, processes, and a logical organisational structure.

The model contends that if the organisation respects and trusts their employees and assigns them appropriate tasks, then the employees will try their best to meet the standards and deliver good results for their organisation. The employees thus benefit through increased job skills, experience, and being a valuable member of the team.

If employees feel secure and happy with the organisation and perceive that they have a valuable role to play, then they become more committed to the organisation. This is because they will have a feeling of “ownership” of the roles and even part of the direction of the organisation.

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