Thursday, October 27, 2011

Natural Systems, Constructed Systems, Cybernetic Systems, Open and Closed Systems

Posted by Benjamin Atuma at 5:59 AM
As an extension of the overview on what is a system, let me give you some insights into the following related concepts:

.  Natural Systems
.  Constructed Systems
.  Cybernetic Systems
.  Open and Closed Systems

1.    Natural Systems:
  Natural systems as the title implies are not man-made.  They exist in nature.  Natural systems include biological and physical systems.  Example of a physical system is the solar system.  While the human circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems are examples of biological systems.

2.    Constructed Systems:  Constructed systems unlike natural systems are man-made.  Their components are assembled by man.  A constructed system may be a physical mechanical device.  For example, a technological system of an oil refinery, or data processing system (a computer).  The business enterprise as a constructed system consists of social, economic, and political processes as as well as legal and psychological ones.

3.    Cybernetic Systems:  Cybernetic systems are self monitoring and self regulating systems.  The Thermostat controlled cooling system of refrigerators, found in homes is an example.  It automatically monitors and regulates itself to maintain a desired temperature.  The business enterprise is another example.

4.    Open and Closed Systems:  Open systems interact with other systems in their environments.  Business enterprises are examples of open and cybernetic systems.  Closed systems, on the other hand, do not interact with other systems in their environments.  No organisation or enterprise,though, is  completely closed or open.  It is more a matter of degree of openness or closeness.  Filley, House and Kerr (1976:283), capture this idea succinctly:

Organisations are systems consisting of physical, economic, human, and intangible parts.  Since human beings are not total captives of the organisation, in as much that their behaviour is partially determined by their lives apart from the organisation, the organisation cannot be completely closed with respect to its human components.  Since availability and value of fund is largely determined by the general economy, the organisation cannot be completely closed with respects to its economic parts.  The same can be said with respect to physical(e.g weather) and intangible (e.g patent) parts of the organisation.

Understanding the above-mentioned concepts would help you to appreciate the business enterprise as a system where economic resources are converted into goods and services.

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Benjamin Atuma
I am a writer, teacher, web consultant, and an entrepreneur.  Enjoy blogging, business networking, traveling, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus.

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