This assignment explores the processes of change and change management in a consulting engineering organisation, using principles from the systemic approach as described by Senge (1990). Where relevant, comparisons are made to alternative judgements which might be made by…
This is because the strategy is short-term and assumes a simple link of cause and effect. On the other hand, systemic thinking attempts to structure a long-term solution. Using outside consultants, for example, may be a good reductionist response but in systemic thinking terms it limits the opportunities for that system to learn to solve its own problems.
Another example is that of a departmental manager who focuses solely on his tackling issues by looking into the resources in his own department without ever considering external agents that could be responsible for any of the undesirable results. This limits the scope and efficiency with which the problems can be solved.
Senge explains the different responses from reductionist and systemic views in chapter 4. Whether understanding a city or a living creature, he argues that a holistic approach is the only effective cure for problems. However, Senge does not mention that complex systems could benefit from short and long term solutions. In nature and in business, some things do develop in separate units and short-term changes are possible in some cases without unintended long-term effects.
Manufacturing units, for instance, are complex units made up of many interacting units such as people, departments, technology, routines and structure (Fernandez, McCarthy & Rakotobe-Joel, 2001). The whole system or the whole organization is reduced to manageable individual parts. By studying the individual manageable parts, the leaders or the managers can formulate rules about the behaviour of the whole system. Thus, adopting a reductionst approach can at times be beneficial for organization such as Delap & Waller because it has several functional departments with dispersed locations.
In simple terms, the tradeoff between the reductionist and systemic views can be described ...
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