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Faculty of Business Studies

TMA Cover Sheet


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Academic Year Course No.

11- 201220 T306B

Semeste r TMA No.

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I. Student Information (to be completed by the student) Abdulrahman bin Talal AL SAUD 10814946
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Q.1a) The spray diagram above shows two ideas as to how they are interconnected in the determination of complex problem within the organization. These ideas help to define, identify, and provide solutions effectively, once jointly exhibited. The first idea is about using systems thinking as seeing a whole picture of complex problems. Systems thinking looking up problems generally and breaking down problems into components, examining its links and interrelating to the whole systems. It highlights the relationships and interconnections among different discipline that are useful in determining problems. Applying systems thinking will drive into a strategic management as the second thoughts of the diagram. Strategic management developed interactive issues and matching it between the internal and external environment using frameworks of analysis. It analyzes the problem on top only and makes some assumption of issues; the connectedness is to consider systems thinking in the whole process to understand the complex problem.

Q. 2b) The above diagram shows two way either positive or negative closed-loop control of feedback within its activity or process. The positive closed-loop control feedback understands to be a perfected result form in the process or activity from the input, process and to desired output. A controller still has to check and compare the desired result and make this as basis on the next process. The second diagram is the negative closed-loop control diagram. It doesnt mean that once it is negative, you have always negative results of the output. In this control, you never get perfection, so adjustment can occur until after a variation has already happened (Farmer and Martin 2004, p.39) In the closed-loop control model diagram whatever the result maybe either positive or negative feedback from the output should be reported directly back to the input for further adjustment if required, so that changes of the process or activity will be made.

Q.3b) Using an essay format of no more than 2000 words, and based on what you learned in T205B concept file 04 section I Organizations are They Rational, readings 01 and 07, section III Structure, section IV development, section V culture and climate, and section VI Decision Making and based on the ideas put forth by Batra, Kaushik, and Kalia in the attached article, describe the principles of systems thinking, analyze their effectiveness for management, for problem solving and for decision making, and contrast its principles to those of strategic management (50 % marks).
Answer:

Managing within the organization requires important factors of involvement, the individual who does the thinking, the organization and the environment served as a system. If the individual learn, the organization well also learns. This are correlated without each no learning occurs, but individual learning does not warrant organizational learning does varies its principle. Organization was developed for a purpose; it shows the existence of an entity to be identifiable, logical, unified and mutually inter-reliant. I was rationally designed for a main reason by achieving its unified goals. It has a well established mission, objectives and goals that will serve as the basis in carrying out its objective towards the organization either short, medium and longterm target in which that action is base. To put some idea, that if you know where you are going, you are possibly to get there since you are guided by the right means. In practice, some organization experience conflict due to a large number goals to realize others may not be easily reconciled, its hard to distinguish sometimes as to what really the organizations is aiming for. Other organization tries to develop clear overall structure of objective and lead into a more specific departmental objective and goal. An established structure for achieving its goal provides an impact to the individual who carrying out the purpose of the organization in a coherent way. Many organizations today have learned on how to develop an effective way of managing organization through a new form of information and by relating its new idea within the process in order to develop an organizational change. An example was a study undertaken by F.W.
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(nickname Speedy) Taylor to increase the productivity of a machine shop (Farmer and Martin 2004, p.25). He link individual workers pay base on his or her productivity and that they link workers to a machine to control the works by adjusting the speed and capabilities which really found to be an effective way in that decade. But because of criticisms and base on the actual observation that Taylorism has this dehumanizing effect to the individuals it suddenly coil into a new form of ideas. This ideas and principles develop changes into a new form of strategy they found individuals to be more productive of having personal empowerment by having a personal control over the responsibilities. It appears to have a substantial increase of morale, commitment and motivation to do the job that lead to an increase in productivity. But Taylorism principles are still alive in this century as they so-called high-tech industries were workers are still controlled by having a set of target, a prove example is a call center companies who set a target number of customer calls they have to answer per hour. Other organization take this ideas but in an extroverted way of applying into their activities or even try to put in new ideas that is pertinent to the existing strategy and applicable at present situation. Uncertainty is everywhere, once an established structure of the organization are laid down within the system; the process are fully understood, the input is highly consistent, the tools are very reliable, workflow is uniform and members of the organization have possessed all the required skills and commitment to their task provided (Farmer and Martin 2004, p.77). These well help to an organization being aware and to cope up with a growing uncertainty. A lot of an organization experience failure and developments, some are capable and others are incapable on cope up complex problem and to a changing environment. But most of the organization has already learned from their existing activities by making used of their organizational strength and take the available opportunities from outside or external environment. They coordinate this new form of opportunity to their existing strategy to deal with uncertainty. One of the best examples is by using information technology that has an enormous impact on information handling capacity and operation used. Advantages of using information technology, it gives a development of decision-support systems (DSS), Development of group decision support systems (GDSS), and gives wide area-distributor networks (Farmer and Martin 2004, p.81). Environmental development provides an idea of an organizational change as to how they cope up with internal or external changes and problems, and to decide which actions or
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decision are considered to be effective. Flexibility sometimes becomes a problem due to inability of the members or the organization itself to cope up with unstable environment. At present, most of the organization subscribe to changes in the environment in order to compete with other organization. Organizational culture can now become flexible' shared schemas, thus, culture change can be understood by examining members' cognitions about an organizational culture change. These results support the viability of measuring organizational culture change from a cognitive perspective and suggest implications for managing the process of culture change. Organizations now really learn that they should be able to cope up changes otherwise not at all. Author(s): Chung-Ming Lau, Lynda M. Kilbourne, Richard W. Woodman Source: Research in Organizational Change and Development, Volume: 14, 2003. Some disparity of ideas or opinions within the organization towards changes are now the challenge of the decision maker whom to encourage them on how to take part and even more aware on the changes especially on the possible complex problem that might impinge on the organizational changes and development. This is now the role of decision maker which is to obstruct multifaceted problems and ambiguity in order to create strategic basis in formulating useful decisions or actions to an organizational problems. Decision making typically reflect of the coherent choice of the information or decision especially in the resolution of inconsistency. Other decision makers are called to be opportunistic; they try to bring together information that is valuable in the current situation or in the future depending on their perception headed for decision making. The future of an organization depends on the present decision, which means that what the organization experience today is the result of the past decision. Therefore decisions play a critical role of the organizational life or its existence, and not just an easy task but a crucial responsibility being handle by the decision makers. To be good decision makers, it requires systems practice to develop an effective decision on knowing and solving complex problems. According to Batra, Kaushik, and Kalia in the article of System Thinking: Strategic planning, system thinking, an agent of integration and enabler of effective decision making for permanent
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solutions of this complex world, has developed as an important tool for strategic planning and decision making (SCMS Journal of Indian Management, October-December, 2010). For purposeful understanding, system thinking is both a mindset and particular set of tools for identifying and mapping the inter-related nature and complexity of real world situations. It encourages explicit recognition of causes and effects, drivers and impacts, and in so doing helps anticipate the effect a policy intervention is likely to have on variables or issues of interest. Furthermore, the processes of applying systems thinking to a situation is a way of bringing to light the different assumptions held by stakeholders or team members about the way the world works ( http://interactive.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/survivalguide/skills/s_systems.htm, Accessed: 14 December 2011). Knowing system thinking is the best way of finding connection between things, events and ideas from inside and outside of the organization or vice versa. It involves equal situation or status with the things, events and ideas themselves and even the relationship of it and their meaning will contribute a great impact to a decision making.

COMPLEX PROBLEM

ORGANIZATION AL PROBLEM

DEPARTMENT AL ISSUES

Figure 3: Systematic Approach of Systems Thinking Thus, systems thinking provide whole understanding towards dynamic complexity which require a good structure, skills and experience in dealing with complex system. System thinking, in the determination of complex problem usually start from a broader view of the problem, breaking
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down the problem into a component parts and examining the links or an interrelation ships of the whole systems. This structural ways of dealing complexity is consider being a best approach to understand a complex web of influences and information that often results to an effective resolution of the complex problem. Usually an organization requires strategic planning and management in coping up dynamic complex systems but they cannot be easily broken down into pieces of understanding a complex problem. System thinking helps to define and solve problems in general, while strategic management helps to define strategy, direction and decision making in achieving objectives using framework of analysis such as SWOT, PEST, STEER or EPISTEL analysis. Strategic management, analyze the problem on top only and assume other issues, but the problem sometimes will not be address well, since the assumption of what they dont know. Using systems thinking it addresses the entire problem situations from internal or external environment and it also offer strategic planning and development as provided in the strategic management. Strategic planning in identifying cause and reasons of problems dont provide permanent solutions of the problem, whereas systems thinking approach provides solutions to all kinds of problems by considering the entire system (SCMS Journal of Indian Management, October-December, 2010). To be able to have a truthful idea as to the effective use of systems thinking, here are a few professional areas related to project management in practice where proactively applying systems thinking can offer benefits: Understanding organizational structure better (the project environment), for more big picture perspective in project management work which may influence decisions and capture the attention of upper management; bolstering ability to contribute ideas for organizational improvements; Directly relating systematic improvement ideas to project stakeholders. Understanding the "system implications" of projects, how a project might affect the organizations system; improve ability to develop systems for getting work done more effectively and efficiently within a given environment; and for entrepreneurial or growing business situations, building skill to scale the organization (http://pmcrunch.com/project_management_process/the-benefits-of-systems-thinking, accessed: 12 December 2011).

Thus, strategic management offers greater benefits in developing organizational effectiveness in achieving its goal. The following are the ideas of which strategic management provides advantages or benefits towards the systems practitioner or the decision maker. Key benefits of a strategic management: taking an organization-wide, proactive approach to a changing global world; building an executive team that serves as a model of cross-functional or horizontal teamwork; having an intense executive development and strategic orientation process; defining focused, quantifiable outcomes measures of success; making intelligent budgeting decisions; clarifying your competitive advantage; reducing conflict; empowering the organization; providing clear guidelines for day-to-day decision making; Creating a critical mass for change; singing from the same hymnal throughout the organization; clarifying and simplifying the barrage of management techniques; empowering middle managers; focusing everyone in the organization in the same overall framework; speeding up implementation of the core strategies; providing tangible tools for dealing with the stress of change (http://www.hainescentre.com/strategic-management/benefits.html, Accessed: 14 December 2011). Such advantages of both two important topics that are being laid down, shows that systems thinking focus the whole big picture of the organization as to how to develop and acquire effectual strategic information and actionable solution in the conduct of resolving existing problems within the organizations. Then it goes into a deeper side of the system for the determination of certain issues and problems or to a specific and actual knowing of the problem. While, strategic management, in the determination of the purpose are laid down on top of the organization which involves executives teams who are task to conduct strategic measures towards the existing problems. This will serve as the overall framework in the implementation of the strategic solution towards the issues or problems. After the determination of action or finding and having a well develop strategic resolution of the problem, it will be distributed to the different functions or department who are now empower to do their action. The manager will see to it that such action will done accordance with the executive plan of action, and report back to the top executives about the current situation of the project.

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The idea provided between the two issues will make up into our mind and drive into a conclusion that systems thinking methodology develop a highly beneficial to improve performance of any organization. And that the organization should invest in this area to have an effective determination and create possible solution towards the existing complex problem. The research proves that firms successfully implement system thinking, perform better business category including return on investment, employment growth, organizations growth and creating profit in the business activities. One of the principal barriers to this exciting prospect is the currently limited capacity for transferring the systems thinking framework to the people within the organization. It requires a highly and broader context of critical thinking and ways of recognizing multidimensional nature of the thinking skills involved in the systems thinking that make people to apprehend. In this regards, strategic management develop interconnectedness of idea towards systems thinking, since framework requires greater thinking in order to gain leverage in addressing complex issues and problems. REFERENCES: Farmer and Martin (2004). Managing within Organization. Arab Open University : The Open Univeristy. p.39; p.25;p.77; p. 81; Lau, Kilbourne and Woodman. (2003). Research in Organizatioal Change and Development. Research in Organizational Change and Development. 14 (4), 35. http://interactive.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/survivalguide/skills/s_systems.htm, Accessed: 14 December 2011 http://pmcrunch.com/project_management_process/the-benefits-of-systems-thinking, accessed: 12 December 2011 http://www.hainescentre.com/strategic-management/benefits.html, Accessed: 14 December 2011

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