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System Thinking

System Thinking

In a 2-page minimum word document,

  • Explain how systems generate behavior and how organizations use this effect to their advantage.
  • Then, describe at least two common system archetypes and explain how they can have a negative
    impact on organizational performance.
  • Next, explain how measurement and reward systems sometimes undermine organizational
    performance. Give examples from personal experience or the assigned resources.
  • Recommend how you would apply project leadership principles to mitigate these negative effects.



System Thinking
Question 1

Systems such as information technology generate behavior that changes the decision-
making process. Specific information systems not only support decision-making process, but
also supports operation and management. These system affect how people interact while
supporting the businesses processes (Luntz, 2011).Organizations use the information system to
save on costs. For example, organizations can use information technology to eliminate middle
managers and the clerical staffs by sending the required information from the operating units
directly to the organization senior management .The use of information technology systems
makes organizations to operate as virtual companies since they are not limited by the
geographical location (Aronson, 1998).

Question 2

The two types of archetypes that can have the negative impact on organization
performance include limits to growth and accidental adversaries.
Limited growth
Unprecedented growth emerges when a reinforcing feedback process becomes a
strenuous process until the system gets to its peak. When the development halts due to limits
from outside or inside the system these limits are not easily recognized .This means that the old
methods are applied continuously and they become contrary to the desired state (Senge, 2006).
Accidental Adversaries
When two subjects work together because of the potential benefits from the alliance, each
of them takes actions assuming that it will generate greater benefits. The problem begins when
the two need to fix a performance gap. Fixing the gap can accidentally undermine the success of


each subject resulting to resentment or frustration among the two .It might turn these subjects
into adversaries destroying the alliance.
How measurement and reward systems sometimes undermine organizational performance.

Give examples from personal experience or the assigned resources.
Rewarding employees with financial incentives based on performance seems to be the
right strategy that would motivate employees to perform better. However, this process
encourages uncalled for behavior because financial incentives create pay inequality that fuels
turnover causing harm (Simons, 2013). Financial rewards based on performance are no effective
especially when employees and the managers doing the same jobs receive dissimilar
compensation levels people embark into judging fairness on their pay inequality leading to
frustration, envy or disappointment (Laufer, 2012).
I witnessed this in my previous workplace when employees were rewarded for improved
performance at the end of the year. Department heads received better packages compared to even
the people who worked tirelessness to ensure that all the deadlines were met. Junior employees
felt less appreciated because nobody recognized their efforts , all the praises were directed to the
departmental heads .This caused tension among workers because employees felts that those who
were compensated more than others should be the ones to put more effort .
Recommend how you would apply project leadership principles to mitigate these

negative effects

To minimize the negative effects of rewards, financial incentives need to be based on
tasks that are of less interest to employee’s .Financial rewards needs to be offered in small scale
so that they do not undermine other employees. Unlike most managers, good project leadership
should not heavily rely on financial rewards as it underestimates the importance of intrinsic


motivation. High performance can be rewarded by designing jobs that provide more freedom of
choice to the employees .Having the freedom to choose will help individuals to develop their
skills and also encourage innovation, this will generate a sense of connection with other people
(Seiler & Kowalsky, 2011).



Aronson, D. (1998). Overview of systems thinking.
the chains of organizational structure. John Wiley & Sons.
Laufer, A. (2012). Mastering the leadership role in project management: Practices that deliver
remarkable results. FT Press.
Luntz, F. I. (2011). Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to
Extraordinary. Hachette Books.
Seiler, J. H., & Kowalsky, M. (2011). Systems thinking evidence from colleges of business and
their universities. American Journal of Business Education. 4(3), 55–61. 
Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. New
York, NY: Doubleday. 
Simons, R. (2013). Levers of organization design: How managers use accountability systems for
greater performance and commitment. Harvard Business Press.

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