Essays on Concept of System Thinking, Sustainability Challenges Coursework

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The paper "Concept of System Thinking, Sustainability Challenges" is a good example of business coursework.   Organisations today are faced with a lot of environmental, social and business risks. Sustainability is one of the major concerns for organisations (Maani and Cavana, 2007). The concept of sustainability has evolved over time and has gained significance among companies. Some sustainability issues that companies are trying to solve include wicked problems such as climate change, environmental pollution and societal challenges. In order to promote sustainability and enhance performance, organisations should acquire a culture of learning (Maani and Cavana, 2007).

Business entities with learning abilities are capable of creating desired organisational results. System thinking is said to be the centre of organisational learning. Employees who embrace system thinking in finding answers for wicked problems and designing a strategic plan for sustainability tend to improve their directorial learning skills. System thinking is said to be an effective mode of assisting companies to follow a proper learning path. A key question is whether system thinking would be an effective solution to sustainability issues (Maani and Cavana, 2007).

This paper will highlight the contribution of systems thinking in designing solutions for sustainability challenges. The paper will first detail out the concept of system thinking. It will then describe how system thinking is used to looking for sustainability solutions. The essay will use an example of a wicked problem; placing a price on carbon in order to enhance the viability of the signs of system thinking in establishing solutions for sustainability issues. A system can be defined as the interconnectedness of elements or components that forms a unified whole (Bosch, Maani and Smith, 2007).

For instance, things like people, economies, and animals make up a system and cannot be thought apart from the whole systems in which they are found. On the other hand, system thinking is considered a vital part of the accomplishment of sustainability in business. System thinking assists people to understand and get hold of the complexity of the world in which they live and embolden them to think in relation to relationships and context (Bosch, Maani and Smith, 2007). Thinking strategically among people requires the shift of perception.

Such a shift is not an alternative but a movement along a continuum. With any system, the context of a whole is different from the sum of different parts (Maani and Fan, 2008). Therefore, by focussing on the whole rather than the parts, an individual can understand the connections and relationships between different elements. In addition, in systems, the relations between parts of a whole is often more important than the individual parts. For instance, an ecosystem is not only an assembly of species, but it entails the interactions between living things. In today’ s world, it is hardly impossible to carry out the business operation without coming across the term “ sustainability” .

Resolving modern sustainability challenges require more than just a strategy (Bosch, Maani and Smith, 2007). It entails shifting from the so-called linear way of thinking to a systems viewpoint. This tends to bring thoughts and behaviour that are congruent to the law of sustainability. Therefore, system thinking can be thought to be a trans-disciplinary perspective of seeing interrelationships and not static snapshots. Maani and Fan (2008) have argued that critical thinking is the means by which practitioners can be conceptualized and made to act in a way that supports the integration of social, economic as well as environmental scopes of sustainability.

According to Maani and Fan (2008), the implementation of system thinking assists to influence the management complexity in relation to other initiatives.

References

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Maani, K.E & Fan, A 2008, Systems thinking and organisational learning – Resolving performance measure conflicts in a supply chain, Proceedings of the International System Dynamic Society Conference, Athens, Greek.

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

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