A Note and Link
Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
Citation: Martin, J. R. Not dated. Russell Ackoff: What is a system? Videos. Management And Accounting Web. http://maaw.info/RussellAckoffVideos.htm
Ackoff explains What a system is and what this means for a business?
A system is a whole that consists of two or more parts. The parts have three properties:
1. Each part can affect the behavior or properties of the whole,
2. None of the essential parts can have an independent effect on the function of the whole, and
3. A combination of parts, or subsystem has the same properties as the parts.
The properties of the system are the product of the interaction of the parts, not the parts taken separately. Therefore, a system cannot be divided into independent parts. The performance of a system depends on how the parts interact, not on how the parts perform separately.
For Systems Based Improvement Videos Parts 1 and 2, and other Lectures by Russell Ackoff see YouTube Russell Ackoff.
Related articles and summaries:
Ackoff, R. L. 1993. From mechnanistic to social systemic thinking. Systems Thinking in Action Conference. (Link to pdf transcript).
Castellano, J. F., S. Young and H. A. Roehm. 2002. Teaching business as a system. Management Accounting Quarterly (Summer): 1-5. (Summary).
De Geus, A. 1999. The living company. Harvard Business Review (March-April): 51-59. (Summary).
Deming, W. E. 1993. The New Economics for Industry For Industry, Government & Education. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Engineering Study. (Summary).
Iansiti, M. and R. Levien. 2004. Strategy as ecology. Harvard Business Review (March): 68-78. (Summary).
Martin, J. R. Not dated. Russell Ackoff quotes and f-laws. Management And Accounting Web. http://maaw.info/RussellAckoff.htm
Parker, L. D. 1984. Control in organizational life: The contribution of Mary Parker Follett. The Academy of Management Review 9(4): 736-745. (Note).
Senge, P. M. 1990. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York, NY: Doubleday. (Summary).