Translating Systems Approach to Family Therapy to Organizations LO24168

From: William Bradford Ward (
Date: 03/13/00

Replying to LO24160 --

Social learning theory initially started with families and allows one to
define organizational boundaries, links between organizations [overlapping
boards, etc], the company's heartland, areas/turfs in which several
companies are struggling, links to outside sources of information based on
the intensity/extensivity [Ray Firth] of links, where the sources of real
power [the stars] are in an organization, etc. Work by Elizabeth Bott and
John Mitchell in England [Social Anthropologists], Al Epstein in West
Africa, and numerous mathematical anthropologists in the US provide a
tremendous amount of value to defining the nature of specific businesses.
The work of the German Diffusionist School should also be mentioned.

On Sun, 12 Mar 2000 22:20:01 Roy Benford wrote:
>This thread caught my attention and I would like to venture the following:
>During recent studies in the area of systems thinking, I found the subject
>difficult to get to grips with as far as traditional organisational
>literature was concerned. However, literature on systems thinking within
>family therapy literature was extremely clear and instructive.

Bill Ward
Research Director
Arthritis Research Institute of America

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