HCA 822 TOPIC 4 Discussion Question Two
HCA 822 TOPIC 4 Discussion Question Two
In the health care setting, leaders often work to instill the philosophy of systems thinking in all stakeholders to enhance the sense of organizational connectedness felt by individuals throughout the organization. How do health care leaders prevent this attempt to influence a mindset from appearing manipulative? Explain.
Systems theory is manifest in the work of practitioners in many disciplines, for example the works of biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, linguist Béla H. Bánáthy, and sociologist Talcott Parsons; in the study of ecological systems by Howard T. Odum, Eugene Odum; in
Fritjof Capra’s study of organizational theory; in the study of management by Peter Senge; in interdisciplinary areas such as Human Resource Development in the works of Richard A. Swanson; and in the works of educators Debora Hammond and Alfonso Montuori.
As a transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multiperspectival endeavor, systems theory brings together principles and concepts from ontology, the philosophy of science, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering, as well as geography, sociology, political science, psychotherapy (especially family systems therapy), and economics.
Systems theory promotes dialogue between autonomous areas of study as well as within systems science itself. In this respect, with the possibility of misinterpretations, von Bertalanffy believed a general theory of systems “should be an important regulative device in science,” to guard against superficial analogies that “are useless in science and harmful in their practical consequences.”
Others remain closer to the direct systems concepts developed by the original systems theorists. For example, Ilya Prigogine, of the Center for Complex Quantum Systems at the University of Texas, has studied emergent properties, suggesting that they offer analogues for living systems. The distinction of autopoiesis as made by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela represent further developments in this field. Important names in contemporary systems science include Russell Ackoff, Ruzena Bajcsy, Béla H. Bánáthy, Gregory Bateson, Anthony Stafford Beer, Peter Checkland, Barbara Grosz, Brian Wilson, Robert L. Flood, Allenna Leonard, Radhika Nagpal, Fritjof Capra, Warren McCulloch, Kathleen Carley, Michael C. Jackson, Katia Sycara, and Edgar Morin among others.
With the modern foundations for a general theory of systems following World War I, Ervin László, in the preface for Bertalanffy’s book, Perspectives on General System Theory, points out that the translation of “general system theory” from German into English has “wrought a certain amount of havoc”:
It (General System Theory) was criticized as pseudoscience and said to be nothing more than an admonishment to attend to things in a holistic way. Such criticisms would have lost their point had it been recognized that von Bertalanffy’s general system theory is a perspective or paradigm, and that such basic conceptual frameworks play a key role in the development of exact scientific theory. .. Allgemeine Systemtheorie is not directly consistent with an interpretation often put on ‘general system theory,’ to wit, that it is a (scientific) “theory of general systems.” To criticize it as such is to shoot at straw men. Von Bertalanffy opened up something much broader and of much greater significance than a single theory (which, as we now know, can always be falsified and has usually an ephemeral existence): he created a new paradigm for the development of theories.
Theorie (or Lehre) “has a much broader meaning in German than the closest English words ‘theory’ and ‘science’,” just as Wissenschaft (or ‘Science’). These ideas refer to an organized body of knowledge and “any systematically presented set of concepts, whether empirically, axiomatically, or philosophically” represented, while many associate Lehre with theory and science in the etymology of general systems, though it also does not translate from the German very well; its “closest equivalent” translates to ‘teaching’, but “sounds dogmatic and off the mark.” While the idea of a “general systems theory” might have lost many of its root meanings in the translation, by defining a new way of thinking about science and scientific paradigms, systems theory became a widespread term used for instance to describe the interdependence of relationships created in organizations.
A system in this frame of reference can contain regularly interacting or interrelating groups of activities. For example, in noting the influence in the evolution of “an individually oriented industrial psychology [into] a systems and developmentally oriented organizational psychology,” some theorists recognize that organizations have complex social systems; separating the parts from the whole reduces the overall effectiveness of organizations.[full citation needed] This difference, from conventional models that center on individuals, structures, departments and units, separates in part from the whole, instead of recognizing the interdependence between groups of individuals, structures and processes that enable an organization to function.