Project #79691 - Systematic thinking

Reports must use 12 point font and have 1-inch margin all around 

 

The first week’s content emphasized (i) the central role of mental models in decision making (ii) the importance of mental models being systemic given today’s interconnected world and (iii) the need to view managerial decisions as interventions in a system. A central tenet of systems thinking is “structure causes behavior” – recall the iceberg analogy – and to understand structure we need to identify two things; the components that make up the system and the cause-effect interactions among them. For this assignment, I would like you to first identify some problematic system behavior (over time) in your place of work – one that invites managerial intervention. This would be the observed behavior above the waterline in our iceberg analogy. Next, you will identify your mental model of the structure below the waterline that is generating that behavior. Lastly, you will write a narrative explaining how your structure explains the observed behavior. (I have provided an example from my own University setting). 

 

a. [20 points] Draw a graph of this behavior over time and state why this pattern is problematic (i.e. hence inviting managerial intervention). Also include a brief explanation of your choice of metric to represent the system behavior. The x-axis of your graph will be time, but make sure you label the y-axis. (No more than 150 words narrative. The graph represents the observed system behavior above the waterline.) 

 

b. [30 points] Now think of the system structure lying below the waterline. List the major components that make up this structure. Give a short but illustrative name to each component and a short definition for it. (no more than 250 words). 

 

c. [50 points] Write a narrative giving your mental model of how interactions among the different 

 

components listed in (b) cause the behavior observed in (a). (no more than 500 words).

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 08/20/2015 05:15 pm
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