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What is Systems Thinking?
Traditional thinking assumes that the parts of an organization are independent of the whole. Systems thinking recognizes that organizations are intricate systems of interconnected parts – each of which has an effect and relationship to others.
There are two types of system:
- Closed system – Closed systems function independently of the external environment.
- Open system – Open systems continuously exchange information, material, and resources with the environment.
System openness is generally understood to be a relative state. That is, it can change. This is particularly true within organizations.
There are also sub-systems within a system that have smaller purposes within a larger system. As such, there are various levels of systems operating independently.