Consider a problem that has developed within your organization (or an organization with which you are familiar). Imagine you are a leader in the organization. In your paper address the following:

  1. Briefly summarize the problem that has developed within your organization.
  2. Use a systems theory approach to describe two ways this problem has affected the organization holistically.
  3. If you were the leader, recommend a solution to the problem.
  4. Describe the implications the solution may have on the organizational system.

Your paper should be 2-3 pages plus a title page and reference page. Follow APA format, Include 2 outside academic sources to support your responses. Use outside sources other than the textbook, course materials, or other information provided as part of the course materials.

Sample paper attached

Systems Theory explanation:

Systems theory provides a way to consider an organization holistically. When a leader considers the organization systemically, it is easy to see how any change will affect other parts of the system (Bott, 1994). Systems theory research has shown that problems within the organization often give rise to symptomatic displays in other parts of the workplace. For example, a problem with employee morale may trickle down and affect sales for the quarter. Effective leaders must take into account that when a change is implemented, there will be some outward manifestation of that change throughout the organization. Since organizations are complex systems, systems thinking can be central to improving relations and building follower trust and commitment. Systems theory can be further linked to how children interact with each other. Researchers have found that children who have unstable family systems may be unable to cope effectively with interactions with their peers. This inability to cope leads to bullying, which has been linked to transactional or autocratic leadership (Cross & Barnes, 2014).

Carleton (2005) wrote, “working at the enterprise or organizational level of performance, as opposed to individual performance, requires a fundamental shift in thinking about performance? [This shift requires] applying systems theory as a primary performance factor” (p. 5). A theory provides guidance, structure, and a clear sense of direction for future action (Di Paola & Tschannen-Moran, 2005). Effectively led organizations require attention to the continuous exchange of information and resources with stakeholders. Because environmental factors are often uncertain and difficult to predict, authentic and effective leaders must be prepared to respond in a variety of ways to maximize the success of an organization (DiPaola, et. al, 2005). Increased cooperation and coordination of information coming into the system helps build bridges that can sustain an organization during times of growth and change. Effective and authentic leaders are at the helm, adapting to changes, creating coping strategies, and keeping watch for opportunities and threats within the organization (DiPaola, et. al, 2005). Systems theory presents an opportunity to address the multiple facets of the organization, thereby allowing the leader the chance to oversee the organization effectively using his or her unique leadership style.

Systems theory advocates purport that all members of an organization are part of a cohesive unit, and stakeholders must be viewed, not merely as individuals, but in the broader context of the system. Research highlights the potential applications of systems theory for the whole organization (Gilbert, 1992). Systems theory represents a “radically different way of understanding the organization” and authentic leadership (Bott, 1994).

Business organizations have benefited greatly when a leader uses a systems approach (Carleton, 2005). By understanding the systems approach, successful relationship skills can be fostered within the organizations and a leader can flourish. Because of their stature in an organization, leaders have significant powers to affect positive change (Gilbert, 1992). Organizational theory should provide guidance for leaders. An understanding of systems theory can provide intentional opportunities for leaders as they interact with their environments. Di Paola and Tschannen-Moran (2005) wrote, “in using theory instead of intuition or past practice to interpret the environment, a leader has a better chance of selecting strategies that will have a positive impact” (p. 71) on the success of the organization when leading from a systems approach. While systems theory is not the only approach leaders may take, it is a helpful paradigm to consider. An effective leader can approach organizational thinking by recognizing that how he or she interacts with one facet of the system will trickle down to all other aspects of the workplace. Without a consistent leadership approach, organizational management might become fragmented.

Bott, D. (1994). A family systems framework for intervention with individuals. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 7(2), 105-116.

Carleton, J. R. (2005). HPT: Focused on individuals or focused on the enterprise. Performance Improvement, 44(3), 5-12.

Di Paola, M. F., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2005). Bridging or buffering? Journal of Education, 43(1), 60-72.

Gilbert, R. M. (1992). Extraordinary relationships: A new way of thinking about human interactions. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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