Systems Theory

Using the systems thinking approach support especially in understanding the underlying dynamics of the organizations in focus. Originating in the constructivism and experiences out of family therapy today systems thinking is one of the basic approaches of consultants and coaches.

Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

It focuses on the interactions and communication to be the essence of an organization and the solution space for problems. Out of this perspective the following levers can help to solve the issues at hand (see K├Ânig (1998) p.39):

  • Changes in respect to the people,
  • Changes of subjective Interpretations,
  • Changes of behavioral rules and the resulting shared interpretations
  • Changes of the interaction structures and tools
  • Change of the system’s environment
  • Change of the development direction/future path or of the development speed