General Systems Theory
Management creates Purpose Driven organisms
See also Reinventing the
World | Systems
through a New Way of Thinking
The Issues of Management:
"Control & communication - the key to
purpose driven activities. ...
"At the heart of the issue lies not only our notions about
organizational structure, but our operational paradigm of what
constitutes a functional, effective organization....
"The philosophical underpinnings come from a focus of study known
as General Systems Theory.
Bertalanffy, a biologist, is considered the father of General Systems
Theory, and almost every field of science (physical, social, and mathematical)
has contributed to its development.
"The basic tenet of General Systems Theory is that all systems share
certain characteristics that allow them to function as systems,
regardless of their type or level of organization. General Systems
Theory attempted to identify and document the characteristics common
to all systems. ...
"For a system to function as a system, rather than a collection of parts, it
must have ways of self-organizing and even directing behavior.
... A wild ecosystem is chaos driven. An organism or organization is purpose driven.
... The distinction between chaotic and purpose-driven systems is important because it relates to the decision / communication models discussed above."
Systems (General Systems
Theory - GST): "...there exists a very
logical explanation for the esoteric nature of the Drucker/Deming
methodology. These individuals based their philosophies on 'General
Systems Theory' (GST). GST was originally proposed by Hungarian
biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928. He proposed that 'a system is
characterized by the interactions of its components and the nonlinearity
of those interactions.' Kuhn (the originator of the “paradigm
shift”) applied the GSP to culture and society, and he
saw cultures as
interlinking subsystems of a broader planetary society. In 1980,
cosmologist Stephen Hawking then expanded systems thinking to the global
platform by introducing the 'Chaos Theory' that claims the
'interconnectedness of all things'--- (i.e. the beating of a butterfly’s
wings in Asia creates a breeze in America). As a
result, GST becomes very esoteric when taken to its logical conclusions:
“GST is symptomatic of a change in our worldview. No longer
do we see the world in a blind play of atoms, but rather a great
- “According to GST, nothing can be understood in isolation but
must be seen as part of a system.” (14)
- If one accepts the theory that the world is an interconnected
and interdependent holistic system (and within that system is an
infrastructure that is analogous across systems), one must logically
conclude that the Gaia Hypothesis is true.
- “James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis first appeared in 1979 and
evolved into Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, published by
Oxford Press in 1982. The Gaia Hypothesis contends that the earth
itself is a living organism, the source of all life, which has the
capacity to regulate or 'heal' itself under 'natural' conditions.
Lovelock's contention is that the human species has developed the
technology to overwhelm Gaia's capacity to 'heal' itself, and is
therefore doomed to destruction unless the human species stops its
technological assault.” (15)
- The Gaia Hypothesis is, in essence, nothing more than
ancient worship of the Mother Earth Goddess...
"...one can conclude that
GST is an
esoteric belief system based on a merger of Darwinism and eastern
mysticism—much like what one would now term 'New Age'. GST contends
that man is moving to the next level of evolution, but in order to reach
this plateau, mankind must be ascribe to a common, universal
consciousness, or belief system (“old beliefs” must transition to “new
beliefs”). Drucker confirmed his adherence to this concept by the
development of the '3-legged stool' model. The legs are
representative of the corporate system, the state, and the 'private
sector. He top of the stool signifies the reaching of that which he
terms as 'community' or consensus of these three separate sectors (or
subsystems) of society. Drucker has spent the last half of his life
concentrating on this 'private sector' (churches and non-profits)
because this segment offers the platform for the dialectical consensus
to unite all of humanity to bring about the 'jump phenomenon' (16)
to the next level of “societal evolution”. According to the GST and the
Gaia Hypothesis, the 'old system' must break down in order for the “new
system” to break through."
"...In his book, With No Apologies, Senator Goldwater described
the strategy of the Trilateral Commission, Council for Foreign
Relations, and other globalist entities as an attempt to control the “Four
Corners of Power” in order to transition the world into their
perceived planetary model. He described these “four corners” as
political, economic, theological, and intellectual; and
contended that those who control the Four Corners of Power control the
world. (17) Drucker’s “3-Legged Stool” simply combines the
theological and intellectual corners of power into the “private sector/
non-profit” leg of the stool. Goldwater theorized that control of
the Four Corners of Power would result in a new world system, just as Drucker’s model to achieve “community” will bring forth a new society.
However, the fact is that the non-profit sector --and the Evangelical
Church in particular, posed the greatest threat to achieving the
synthesis of “community”--or at least it did-- until Hybels, Buford,
Warren, and Co. began to transition their constituents by the hundreds
of thousands to a position that aligned with the whole systems model."
Religions: Purpose-Driven Apostasy"
Mac Dominick. Please read
his complete article and find sources in his footnotes
and Communitarian Systems.
General System Theory - Its "Humanistic" Features:
"The Bertalanffian GST is inherently ethical and ecological because it aims at
increasing the awareness in every human of the need of being functionally interconnected with each other, with his or her
community, with the whole humanity, with the immediate terrestrial surroundings and with the biosphere.
"As an ideological tool, scientifically structured it may help to conceive, design and implement the research needed for allowing every scientist to develop his intuition and capabilities, for learning consistently to
discover the laws that govern the manifestation of biological, psychological and social systems. For dealing humanely with all kinds of local concerns supported by and taking into account the global circumstances and terrestrial limits.
de facto a kind of reconciliation between humanities and science, between materialism and idealism, between
body and mind, it has become a humanistic alternative that may help overcome frameworks determined through mechanistic values; an alternative that recognizes frankly that
'the organism is not a passive automaton reacting to stimuli but rather is an autonomously active system', a conceptual interpretation indispensable for the healthy evolvement of human interactions.
"GST will play necessarily a humanitarian role in the continuous evolvement of a civilized humankind, because it aims at creating the circumstances needed for offering reasonable, then humanitarian perspectives for all the members of the Homo sapiens sapiens who
need to be continuosly aware of the role that humans ought to play on the planet
sharing every aspect of every terrestrial space with the members
of all the other living species. ....
In the domain of GST the humans, should not see each other as embodiments of one or several human traits, but instead as complex and ever changing systems that may achieve a revolution of harmony,
if and only if every human learns to view life with a certain awe. Then everybody might tend to treat life with reverence, and also tend to
treat each other with respect."
General System Theory:
"General Systems Theory aims at seeking principles common to systems in general that may allow scientists and researchers to think more clearly about the goals of any possible system and about the methods for reaching them....
"The Systems Movement has evolved and is getting increasingly involved in processes organized under the assumption that they may improve the manifestation of human actions related with the development of the civilization that prevails at present....
"Many 'systems' are constituted according to interests and motivations of people located in powerful positions related to privileged situations. Other systems remain in operation and even improve it simply because they are considered necessary stimulii for the evolvement of trends of the prevailing civilization. Many 'intelligent' human affairs do not improve at all the
civilizing processes, neither the human way of life.
"In recent years
an increasing deterioration of the way humanity is still surviving has become the main challenge for the Systems Community.
The General Systems Theory conceived originally by Bertalanffy need to be developed from now onward through a systematic confrontation with the numerous problems that composed the most serious crisis ever faced by humankind.
Systems scientists must engage responsible in discovering the laws intrinsic to the dynamical features of:
- Those problems that nowadays are increasing the
deterioration of the human society: unfair trade, poverty, hungry,
intolerance, violence, corruption....
- Those policies that need to be conceived and designed for reducing the gap between rich and poor people and countries, for solving gradually shortcomings in education and health care, for negotiation among conflicting entities, for embeding ecological questions into economic intentions and also vice versa for embeding economic questioning into ecological intentions...
- Those programs needed for
recognizing humans as creative and responsible wholes, who need to develop their physical, biological and
psychological capabilities for learning how to perform actively in every community in order to contribute consciously to increase the survival chances of the human species on this unique planet."
Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy:
Founding Father of the General System Theory
Excerpted from General Systems Theory
Who was Bertalanffy?:
A scientist inherently ethical who aimed at improving the human condition
A philosopher, ahead his time, who searched universal laws of organization
A man acting as a citizen of the world, then learning to be aware of humanity's enigmas
The founding father of General System Theory
The Issues of Management
For a system to function as a system, rather than a collection of parts, it must have ways of self-organizing and even directing behavior. If command and control is distributed to the subsystems, then we must look elsewhere for the self-organizing capabilities of the complex system. What the complex system provides is coordination and communication for the self-stabilizing subsystems. The paradigm shift, then, is one of moving from a central command and control model to a distributed command and control model with central communication and coordination.
Core Paradigm Differences in Tools:
"First, enforcement of a single brand of tool on an entire organization for compatibility reasons is no longer an issue. Second, if the organization is standardizing on a brand of authoring tool for contractual or support reasons, the decision is less monumental."
"...the world is a system of subsystems (also called systems),
and interconnected, to form a wholistic or holistic system; that within
any one system is an infrastructure that is analogous across systems, irrespective
of physical appearance.
"The Gaia Hypothesis, in different words but saying the same
thing, adds a spiritual dimension to systems theory, stating that the world
is a living, breathing, organism, irreducible to its parts; that what affects
one part affects all parts; that in the name of saving spaceship earth, we must
change our society.
"These are the two hypotheses which undergird systems governance
and the transformation of American society to the total quality, outcome-based,
environment of a managed economy in a communist society in which every aspect
of that society is micromanaged by the all powerful government to achieve
goals established to attain a humanist 'created future' — the sustainable global
"This is happening nationwide, in every branch, office
and department of government; in industry; in health care; in education at all
levels; in property rights, growth management and land use planning; in ecology
... there is nothing that is not being affected by this. This is a total
and complete transformation or paradigm shift of our society." Lynn Stuter,
"...the idea that
changes need to be conceptualized in the context of the total
system. Most educators are no accustomed to thinking in a systems fashion. I
suggest that Total Quality Management is a means by which systems-level thinking
can be both encouraged and translated into action. Next outcome-based education
is introduced, described, and analyzed as the framework within which systems
redesign can occur....
"Variations on the outcome-based model are appearing with ever-increasing
frequency due in part to the fact that OBE is a systems approach to change.
All elements of program and practice must be reviewed, reordered, and reinforced
to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.
"Outcome-based education, like Total Quality Management and systems
thinking, requires a reconceptualization of the organization at a fundamental
level." David T Conley; Roadmap to Restructuring;
Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon; ERIC; 1993.