Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

System Concepts

System concepts underlie the filed of information systems. What is a system? A system can be very simply defined as "a group of interrelated or interacting elements forming a unified whole" (James A. O Brien). Such a system (sometimes called a dynamic system) has five basic functional components that interact to form a system:

A system exists and functions in an environment consisting of other systems. Also, a system is separated from its environment and other systems by its system boundary. Figure 81 shows the relationships of feedback and control to the other components of a system.

Organizations such as business firms or government agencies are subsystems of society, which is their environment (see Figure 82). Organizations are open systems since they must interface and interact with other systems to survive in their environment. Finally, organizations are adaptive systems since they possess the ability to modify themselves to meet the demands of a changing environment.