CHAPTER 27

General Systems Theory

What is it? Is There an Application Example for OD?

William Becker

WE RECOGNIZE EMERGING patterns from seemingly random events. These in turn stimulate our feelings, which urge us to organize those patterns into knowledge schemes, which then allow us to create a conceptual synthesis. Armed with these syntheses we create concepts and take action.

As applied to Organization Development, the patterns we detect by looking at the interfaces or kinds of interactions between an organization and its marketplace help us to understand how the organization’s internal and external relationships influence the success of the enterprise. An understanding of these patterns (that form a General System Theory—GST) may also be ...

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