Translating Systems Approach to Family Therapy to Organizations LO24232

From: Gavin Ritz (
Date: 03/22/00

Replying to LO24185 --


> >Any therapeutic approach for an organisation is dysfunctional.
> >
> >This suggest that organisational problems are similar to family problems
> >which they aren't?
> What if it is a family run firm?

Good point, if a dysfunctional family runs a business God help those who
work there. I am generally talking about public corporations.

> >Systems approach means looking at complexity which therapy does not.
> >
> >What happened to cognition one of the cornerstones of an organisations
> >sensory system.
> Cognition? Are you suggesting CBT, cognitive behaviour therapy.

No, cognition in terms of being able to deal with complexity and levels of
abstraction, see Piaget, Jaques, MacDonald, have a look at Jaques on human

> >Not one of the therapeutic models that I know of are of a systems nature.
> Try looking at "Family Therapy" by Goldenberg & Goldenberg. It has a good
> section on general systems theory.


> >Look at Senge's BEER GAME behaviour has often nothing to do with emotional
> >issues.
> Well, when I looked at Senge's BEER GAME what I observed was a
> manufacturing and distribution system that had delays within it and people
> interacting with the system at various stages. In the example I saw,
> people were over ordering in the hope of getting some stock, ie they were
> experiencing anxiety at low stock levels and orders not being fulfilled,
> fear of running out of stock, etc. I regard these as emotional issues,
> perhaps, you don't. Incidentally, I went to an e-commerce conference
> yesterday and the future of the BEER GAME was being presented replace the
> people with computers and XML. That will definitely solve the problem of
> emotions within the system but it might just be another philosopher's
> stone.

Maybe you missed the point, it has to do with responses under certain
systems or complexity that is sometimes beyond the control of individuals.
What it also says that sometimes the system defines the behaviour. Maybe
you should look at what the other systems theorists say about this very
thing. Kauffman used light bulbs as examples. How one flip a switch (ie in
the expriment) can send a sea of light bulbs into a different phase.

I think that computers will not solve that issue and it would seem then
those who purport that computers can solve that problem maybe do not have
a full grasp of systems theory.



Gavin Ritz <>

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