What is Structure? LO25514

From: Gavin Ritz (garritz@xtra.co.nz)
Date: 10/23/00

Replying to LO25499 --

Hi David

David Wilkinson wrote:

> I would like to seek perspectives of listserv members on an area of
> learning that I am pursuing. I want to have a good grip on systems
> thinking and a variety of ways to see the system.
> My question is - What is structure in a system? Is it visible, invisible
> or both? Is it formal or informal or both? What is it?


There are a number of models/theories that are address this very issue.
VSM Stafford Beer, SST Elliot Jaques and EKS (Wolfgang Mewes). To name
just a few that are used in business.

If we look at EKS the structure of all business environments have the
following which is a very nice frame of reference.

Material processes -visible
Technical processes -visible
economic processes -visible to some degree
Financial processes -visible to some degree
Informational processes -visible and invisible (i.e. tangible and intangible)

Psychological processes -a bit more invisible
Power processes -invisible
Energy processes -very invisible

VSM has five systems starting with the
system 1 the creating systems
system 2- damping systems of systems 1
systems 3- control systems and management
system 4 -creative and self reflective insightful systems
system 5 the board and self referencing system of systems 3 and 4
all these are embedded in other recursive systems up and down.

Level of work 1 -time horizon 0 to 3 months ( as related to structure and
hierarchy) (all cognitive capability is intangible as related to human logic)
level of work 2 -3 months to 1 year
level of work 3 -1 year to 2 years
level of work 4 -2 to 5 years
level of work 5- 5 to 10 years
level of work 6 -10 to 20 years
level of work 7 -20 plus years

All these models are easily inter changeable at certain levels and are all
connected and interconnected, a bit to complex to go into here.

There are others like Kauffmans NK model (very good to help understand
chaos) not very easily translated for business use. Millers Living
systems theory plus a whole heap of others that I can't make head or tail

I hope this gives you a taste of what is out there.



Gavin Ritz <garritz@xtra.co.nz>

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