Systems Thinkin

Systems thinking, as a theory, started in the natural sciences and only recently has been applied to organizational behavior (   However, it is very important for organizations to understand that they function in a broader environment.   Traditionally organizations looked at each function, department or division as simply subsets of the organization and treated them as closed systems, not integrated with other subsets of the organization (McNamara, ND).   We now know that this is not the case; every organization is actually a very live, open system where all parts of the organization interact with both internal and external environments working towards common goals.   An organization cannot effectively or efficiently exist without understanding how in a broader environment it transforms inputs into outputs (   Organizations recognize and utilize open systems approach to some degree; the following will analyze two widely divergent organizations military units and orchestras looking at whether they are an open system; the awareness of their role in the open system; and their productivity (ability to transform inputs to outputs).
Military Unit
An open system is defined as “systems that interact with other systems or the outside environment” (   Fedorov (2001) states that the military unit, as a part of the production system (labor), is a subsystem of the military.   Further the military is a subsystem of the U.S. socio-economic system.   This recognizes the military’s impact on the larger environment that it is contained in and its overall goal, which is the contribution to “increasing the volume of the GDP and enhancing the efficiency of social labor” (Fedorov, 2001). This meets the definition of an open system.  
An organization’s environment may consist of many different systems.   This analysis will concentrate on just two of those systems: 1) cognitive system, which is the awareness of...