Group Dynamics and the Public Sphere

Psychology in the Workplace

What does a systems approach involve?

The systems approach draws from Ludwig von Bertolanffy’s 1967 work on general systems theory. In this view, organizations are seen more like living organisms than like machines. A system is a whole made up of interacting parts. Systems are composed of interacting subsystems (e.g., departments, divisions, work groups, teams). It is the relationships between the subsystems that make up the structure of the system. Therefore systems theory is particularly focused on relationships among individuals and groups within the work setting. While the classic organizational theories assumed that all members of the organization shared the same goals, systems approaches recognize that different subsystems can have very different interests and agendas.


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