As a consultant, program evaluator, or program leader, you will encounter issues that are not easily explained in a linear, or Lockean, fashion. In other words, there may be a variety of dynamic processes impacting a presenting issue. Acting to address the presenting issue without a clear perspective of the systemic dynamics can have far-reaching implications.
Your ability to critically analyze the decision-making process in an organization is essential to your success. In this Application, you use systems archetypes to explain the interplay of various elements of the organization(s) affected by the decision making. You then compare the systems meta model to traditional linear thought process, and in doing so examine the organizational implications of applying each.
To prepare for this assignment:
•Review your course text, The Fifth Discipline, paying close attention to the role of systems thinking in a learning organization. Also pay close attention to the archetypes discussed throughout the book, a description of which is contained in Appendix 2.
•Review the article, “Systemic Thinking in a Linear World: Issues in the Application of Interactional Counseling,” and think about the implications for applying systems theory to an organization.
•Think about an organization in which you worked or volunteered. Recall a decision that needed to be made or was made and consider the systems implications of that decision.
•Review the systems archetypes again and identify which one explains the dynamics at play in the organization you recalled above. Pay particular attention to the feedback loops involved in the identified decision.
•Now think about how the dynamics might have been different if a linear approach, rather than a systems approach, had been used.
The assignment: (4–6 pages)
•Briefly describe an organization in which you have worked or volunteered.
•Explain a decision that either needed to be made or was made, as well as the systemic implications for the decision.
•Using the systems archetypes identified in The Fifth Discipline, explain the dynamics at play in your identified organization. Give specific attention to the feedback loops involved in the identified decision.
•Explain the implications of applying a linear approach to the identified decision in comparison to a systems approach.
Preferred language style US English