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Systems theory and the term systems approach represent an approach to inquiry that fundamentally contrasts with the well-established, dominant reductionist-deterministic paradigm, which assumes that systems may be understood by studying their individual parts and that systemic behavior is essentially predetermined. Essentially, the systems approach focuses on adopting a holistic perspective and places greater emphasis on the relationships between the elements that are under study. One important objective of a systems analysis is to develop a deeper understanding of “how things work” by investigating the nature of the interactions of the components of interest. In an organizational context, this perspective recognizes a broader range of issues than that offered by a specialist-driven, reductionist approach. This feature is particularly relevant for understanding the development and management of ...

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