Essays on Systems Thinking is Critical in Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges Literature review

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The paper "Systems Thinking is Critical in Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges" is a perfect example of a literature review on management. It is not a surprise that sustainability revolves around the interrelationship between the economy, society as well as the environment (Allison and Hobbs, 2006). Sustainability is a very important component of development. System thinking can be described as a framework of viewing an element in terms of other elements or issues to which it interacts. Since every societal element contributes to the social system, for one to learn about an element, it is very essential to observe how such element responds when put together with other elements (Bosch et al. , 2013).

There are two factors that determine the growth and sustainability of a business: consumption and available resources. In order for a business to have the capacity to cater to its customers, its human and natural resources should be optimum (Doppelt, 2012). Furthermore, for a business to make a profit, its consumption level should not decline. Nevertheless, this cyclical interconnectedness between businesses and customers exists within a complex social system where more variables like social issues, government regulations, and changing customer needs should be considered (Bosch et al. , 2013).

For instance, social issues like poor infrastructure and education, etc. are potential constraints to business success. Strict environmental regulations can potentially reduce an organization’ s access to raw materials. From this illustration, the degree of complex interactions between different variables of business activity becomes clearer (Jackson, 2003). It is seen that business exists within a vigorous social system and thus it is highly susceptible to any changes that may involve any element that make up the social system.

Overall, a business cannot stay independent to susceptibility in economic, social as well as environmental factors (Jackson, 2003). Therefore, it is important to design the most effective and efficient strategies that enable businesses to stay ahead of looming situations. This paper will assess the viability of the statement: Systems thinking is critical in developing solutions to sustainability challenges.


Allison, H. E. and R. J. Hobbs 2006, Science and policy in natural resource management: Understanding system complexity, UK, Cambridge University Press.

Bosch, O. J. H., N. C. Nguyen, T. Maeno and T. Yasui 2013, "Managing Complex Issues through Evolutionary Learning Laboratories." Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol.30, no. 2, p. 116-135.

Cabrera, D., L. Colosi and C. Lobdell (2008). "Systems thinking." Evaluation and Program Planning, vol. 31, no. 3, p. 299-310.

Cheung, W., et al. 2009, "Redistribution of Fish Catch by Climate Change. A Summary of a New Scientific Analysis," Pew Ocean Science Series. Retrieved from

Doppelt, B 2012, Business leaders need systemic thinking for sustainability, The Guardian, retrieved from,

Jackson, M 2003, Systems thinking: creative holism for managers, Chichester, UK, John Wiley & Sons.

Maani, K. E. and R. Y. Cavana 2007, Systems thinking, system dynamics: Managing change and complexity, Auckland, NZ, Prentice Hall.

Mingers, J 2006, Realising Systems Thinking: Knowledge and Action in Management Science, New York, USA, Springer.

Nguyen, N. C. and O. J. H. Bosch 2012, "A Systems Thinking Approach to identify Leverage Points for Sustainability: A Case Study in the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 2, no. 2, p. 104-115.

Sharma, R 2005, "Deep-Sea Impact Experiments and their Future Requirements", Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 331–338.

Sterman, J 2000, Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World, Boston, USA, Irwin McGraw-Hill.

USAID 2014, Local Systems: A Framework for Supporting Sustained Development, Retrieved from

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