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Integrating Perspective

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The systems perspective

A system is an interrelated set of elements functioning as a uhole. An organization as a system is composed of four elements:

  • inputs (material or human resources),
  • transformation processes (technological and managerial processes),
  • outputs (products or services), and
  • feedback (reactions from the environment).

Open systems are systems that interact with their environment. Subsystems are systems within a broader system. Synergy are units that are more successful working together than working alone. Entropy is the process that leads to decline.

The contingency perspective

Appropriate managerial behavior depends on the elements of the situation. Universal perspectives tried to identify the "one best way" to manage organizations. Contingency perspective argues that universal theories cannot be applied to organizations because each is unique.

An integrating framework

Managers need to include the parts from each perspective that are relevant to their situation and apply them using both a systems and contingency approach.

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