Systems Thinking in the travel industry LO25857

From: Richard Karash (
Date: 01/10/01

I was asked:

>I would like to get some help from you. I'm
>from Malaysia, I have an assignment and I cant find relevant facts...
>My question is:
>"Systems Thinking concept embraces the internal and external
>interactions of a system. It is a powerful method to study these
>factors that may affect the effectiveness of the system. Critically
>access how system thinking methodologies can benefit your workplace.
>( Travel and tourism industry)"
>Is there any sites particularly I can visit or any ideas or paper
>written of how I should approach this question. Hope to gain some
>professional help from your professionals. Thanks for your kin

I answered:

I think the place to start is to think about the industry and identify
those places where the system is visible... that is, where there are a)
repeating patterns of b) problematic behavior.

One tiny example, one that I see...
  - Airlines want to increase their revenue...
  - This leads them to use "revenue management" systems (i.e., they
adjust the prices daily to sell all the seats).
  - The traveling public notices they are paying $1000 and the person
in the next seat is paying $200. They become more price conscious.
Business travel departments are told to do whatever it takes to get
lower fares.
  - So, the traveling public invests tremendous effort to take
advantage of the lower fares
  - this reduces airline revenues, putting them under even more
pressure to figure out more sophisticated tricks in "revenue
  - All bonds of trust are broken between travelers and the airlines
(I used to be somewhat loyal to certain airlines).

A system is a compound entity which has an extra result, over and beyond
the sum of the results produced by it's components, that extra result
arises from the interaction between the components.

Thus, what I've described above is a system. Perhaps better systems
thinking would produce a result in which a) travelers felt the fares were
more fair, b) there was more mutual respect between the airliens and the
travelers, and c) there was more loyalty to good airlines.

I suggest you think about other instances in which the system is visible.
This should make a good paper.

If you want to go further,
   The Fifth Discipline and The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, by Peter
Senge, et al. has a "road maps" series of self-study exercises is a long list of resources

Good luck with your paper.

   -=- Rick


Richard Karash ("Rick") | <> Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer | "Towards learning organizations" | Host for Learning-Org Discussion (617)227-0106, fax (617)523-3839 | <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.