Truth and Reality in Systems Thinking LO26403

From: Gavin Ritz (
Date: 03/20/01

Replying to LO26378 --

Hi Barry

Barry Mallis wrote:

> When you observed below that Systems Thinking seems to represent flow and
> not structure, I came away unable to understand for myself what you mean by
> "structure."

That is a very good question, every process has a structure, invisible or
visible, e.g. psychological process-structure is invisible and economic
process -structure is visible. The structure (the best definition I can
find is from Maturana) denotes the components and relations that actually
constitute a particular unity (whole) and makes its organization real.

> Do you mean, for instance, the structure of the business organization?

Yes, partly most organizations usually only define a structure to divvy
out blame. There is a link with accountability that is the key here. On
another thread on Learning and Grace there was a lot said about
accountability and the Energy Law which I think has great relevance here.

The Beer game is a good example how the structure determines the process.

If one changes a process and not the structure a lot of unintended things
happen. If one changes a structure and not the process often the process
seems to form its own path sometimes with disastrous results.



Gavin Ritz <>

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