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Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives Essay


Systems Thinking for the Enterprise

Key Points

Rebovich addresses the term enterprise, which refers to a unit comprising of interdependent resources. The resources are interrelated and they interact to realize the set goals. The author highlights the shift from traditional systems engineering (TSE) to enterprise systems engineering (ESE). TSE assumes that all significant factors are understandable to and under the control of the engineer. Under ESE, only some factors may be accounted for using system engineers. Rebovich sought to identify how the challenges faced by the intricate ESE system can be resolved.

Rebovich addresses variation as the source of innovation and adaptation in organizations. He then explores various interactions with the compound system and illustrates how it influences the roles of various agents. An example of the Military Net Centricity (C2 enterprise system) is used for elaboration. In this case, rewards are offered to individuals or groups that move the organization towards net centricity to encourage innovation through interrelation.

Arguments

Rebovich argues that new systems thinking perspectives are emerging due to the intersection between IT disciplines and the philosophy of sophisticated acclimatized systems. He argues that the TSE cannot survive due to rapid information technology changes. Therefore, system engineers need to be conversant with current technology in order to develop systems that are up to date.

The problem addressed

The article explores systems thinking in the emerging and novel perspectives of businesses. It addresses schools of thought that are increasing due to the demand for effective systems development. Enterprise systems are complicated by advancing technology making it hard for developers to keep up with technological demands. Rebovich explores measures in enterprises that will present the future desired by stakeholders.

What the author knows about the problem

Rebovich provides a background on systems thinking and proceeds to create an image of how technology changes have led to complexity in systems. This enables the reader to appreciate the challenges involved in using TSE. Rebovich shows how system engineers may be overwhelmed by the many enterprise elements.

Author’s Proposal

Rebovich proposes that a fraction of the new systems thinking (ESE) demands for the substitution of the perception that precise engineering results or objectives can always be guaranteed with one that aims at shaping, improving, or increasing the value of engineering results.

Author’s findings

Rebovich found that IT is a major contributor to the complex situations faced by engineers. In technologies such as biotechnology, IT has had momentous impact fostering novel changes. These advancements have decreased costs of information storage leading to an information revolution that has reduced interaction barriers among key actors. In spite of this, the rate of IT advancement suggests that future events will be more complex.

Author’s conclusion

Rebovich concludes that although enterprise systems engineering are appropriate for solving complex challenges, they are gradually lacking the capacity to influence multiple enterprise elements. Systems engineering hence should be more about having the capacity to control their environment.

Mental Models: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis of Theory and Methods

Key Points

Jones, Ross, Lynam, Perez and Leitch (2011) state that attaining some insights into mental models and how they affect stakeholders is of great importance to natural resource management (NRM). The approaches modeled to deal with environmental challenges are mainly orchestrated by human choices. The authors argue that mental models must be greatly dynamic in order to adjust to the continually shifting situations.

Arguments

An individual’s view regarding his/her environment exists within the mind of the individual. Identifying and handling the plurality of the stakeholder perceptions is a fundamental aspect of efficient NRM. Understanding such internal constructs allows for the development of mechanisms used to enhance efficient utilization and management of natural resources.

Jones et al. (2011) argue that mental models are typically partial representations of reality. They are incoherent depictions of reality as they are context-dependant changing with variation in circumstances.

The problem addressed

Jones, et al. (2011) sought to examine the utility and pertinence of mental models in view of NRM. The authors address the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective. The authors claim that mental representations stored in the long-term memory have significance in the interpretation of current events. They maintain that long-term memory is as an outcome of ‘how cultural understanding is arranged in the mind’.

What the author knows about the problem

The authors recognize that extracting a mental model is challenging. They acknowledge that mental models have not been fully studied and cognitive mapping emerged from spatial cognitive researches. They also recognize that study on mental models indicates that the constructs are characteristically similar representations.

Authors’ Proposal

The authors suggest that practitioners in the NRM sphere should take an interest in the idea of mental models. The knowledge will enable practitioners to develop ways of encouraging individuals with dissimilar views to work together. This will only be possible if the practitioners identify and support a common knowledge among stakeholders.

Authors’ findings

Jones, et al. (2011) found that one perspective that does not pursue the representation of a mental model elicitation is the Consensus Analysis (CA). This approach is devised to examine the sharing of cultural knowledge among a given set of people. The CA literature entails the portions of data collection that every person possesses in the mind as representations.

Authors’ conclusion

The authors conclude that the utilization of mental model is a striking proposition for natural resource management practitioners. The image provided by mental models elaborates on the elements that the stakeholders regard paramount to a particular matter. Mental models give some knowledge regarding how individuals understand and react to a system. The authors assert that there is proof that individuals use mental models when interacting with their environment. Extraction techniques require the capability to integrate the intricacy and have the ability to stand for the people’s thinking.

Towards a System of Systems Concepts

Key Points

Russell Ackoff indicates that the concept of system plays a critical role in the contemporary science. The author states that in systems, the perspective of challenges is essential for organizations. The systems approach looks at holistic systems. An integrated or inclusive set of systems model does not exist. The author describes systems as a set of interrelated elements and offers intrinsic definitions associated with systems thinking.

Arguments

Ackoff argues that a system should be either variety escalating or variety diminishing. Concepts which when combined do not increase or decrease variety encompass identical concept elements. In this case, only one concept or element acts at a time. If that is not the case, then the action by a variety of concepts or elements is equal to the action by one (Ackoff, 1971).

The problem addressed

Russell Ackoff’s article sought to explore the concern that the concepts and terminologies used to talk about systems in literature are not organized into a system. He attempted to initiate the organization of terminologies and concepts used in systems into a system. Specific consideration of the types of system that generate utmost interest to management scientists is given.

What the author knows about the problem

While published in 1971, the author appears to have been ahead of his time. He was well versed with the concept of systems and successive researchers have followed his steps when conducting systems thinking research. Contemporary stakeholders seek to develop necessary background in terms of concepts and terminologies for clarity in application.

Author’s Proposal

The author proposes that when conducting research on systems thinking, it is imperative for the researcher to possess substantial knowledge on terminologies and concepts that exist in the field. This translates to the possession of sufficient knowledge in the field and the elimination misinterpretations.

Author’s findings

The author found the relationship between systems and elements involved. He states that some systems can demonstrate a higher variety and level of behavior than constituent elements. By combining two or more objective-seeking elements, a multi-objective seeking and consequently a purposive system can be constructed. Ackoff states that an organization is a focused system that entails at least two purposeful elements that possess a shared principle in which the system entails a functional division of labor.

Author’s conclusion

Ackoff concludes that the definition of concepts in systems is a necessary trouble. Failure to give specific definitions drastically lowers the chances of success. The definitions in system concepts require regular review to keep them applicable and appropriate. The author states that research can rarely be conducted using a single concept.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 3). Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/systems-thinking-for-the-enterprise-new-and-emerging-perspectives/

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"Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives." IvyPanda, 3 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/systems-thinking-for-the-enterprise-new-and-emerging-perspectives/.

1. IvyPanda. "Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives." June 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systems-thinking-for-the-enterprise-new-and-emerging-perspectives/.


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IvyPanda. "Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives." June 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systems-thinking-for-the-enterprise-new-and-emerging-perspectives/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives." June 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/systems-thinking-for-the-enterprise-new-and-emerging-perspectives/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Systems Thinking for the Enterprise: New and Emerging Perspectives'. 3 June.

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