Systems consist of people, structures, technologies, and processes that work together to make organizations viable. It is a part of operations and management research essentially looks at the whole as a basis for understanding, designing, and managing its components. Systems thinking is applied in organizational management for decades in the field of operations but has been conceptualized also in the functional areas of marketing. A synchronized thinking process offer a powerful new perspective, a synchronized flow of thoughts, and a set of tools that can be used to address the most complex problems in everyday business operations. Systems thinking may be considered as a way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships among various components in a process, rather than the independent constituents of the process. Based on a field of study known as system dynamics, systems thinking have a practical value that rests on a solid theoretical foundation and can be applied in social and economic development projects.
I am really interested in the concept of systems from an ecosystem standpoint. I found the ecosystem model to be very useful when analysing online Communities of Practice (what worked - what would be even better?)
Without wishing to force the analogy (or to be simplistic) recognisable biotic and abiotic components were obviously present. Competition and collaboration processes existed. Energy inputs and vital flows could be visualised. The concepts of sustainability and succession were immensely valuable in examining such online communities.
I would be interested in hearing more about the application you describe.
Thanks for your observation. Indeed systems thinking approach is being used for pursuing sustainable social development issues. This approach can also be put through the on-line communities. I am currently working on the renewable energy markets in developing countries in general and in specific to Mexico along with my doctoral scholar. Generating social awareness and mapping the choice model for sustainable (and alternative) energy is being worked out through the systems thinking approach in our research. I am uploading the stage gate process used as systems thinking tool in this research framework.