System Fundmuntals Essay Example

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System Fundamentals

A complex system is a holistic system made up of individual units that are interrelated in a way that although each is unique, they are all governed by the same fundamental rules. It is notable that the interrelations are usually plentiful but not always local as thought and are not informal. The information that is exchanged via the interactions of the simple individual units helps the system in the organization (Cilliers, 2005, pp.11). Many advantages come along with having a complex unit. This paper aims to discuss how the knowledge of a complex system helps and some of the four concepts.

How Does Knowing a System is Complex Help Me

Before coming in to deal with a system problem, one has to analyze whether the system is complex or not. Getting to know whether the system is complex helps a lot. First, it would help me in avoiding the dangers that come along with misunderstanding complexity. An example here is the U.S Calvary that was brought in by the Rangers of the Yellowstone National Park to try and feed the elk, whose population was declining. As a result, the elk population increased tremendously to the point that they started the elk started feeding on the aspen trees on a large scale and these such that it was now worrying the management of the park (Lecture notes).

The beavers were using the aspen trees to construct the beaver dams that used to allow the catch the run off spring and therefore trout could spawn. The more the population of the elk grew, the less the trout became. Therefore it became difficult to control the effects of the big population of elk. The consequences had to be handled in a way that the systems of the park would balance. This show that the knowledge that is gained from complex systems is important in understanding the dangers that come along with the misunderstanding of complexity. Another importance that I would appreciate by using the knowledge of complex systems is to know the things that may hinder us from handling complexity most efficiently. When we tend to listen to experts, whose predictions are on a record for being weak enough although they are quite authoritative. In this case, people need to overcome this by sharing private information although it is mostly not the case even where information does exist. Also translating this into management is also another skill that is input by the knowledge of complex systems (Cilliers, 2005, pp.10).

In the case of leaders in the leadership positions, it is always advisable that they listen to the diverse opinions and points of view of the different committee members who give out their minds. When it is the case, there is going to be a smooth translation of the knowledge of complex systems into the management of organizations for the maximum effectiveness. However, in most of the cases, leaders usually bombard the committee members with their ideas and views so that they are heard, and the diverse opinions of the members remain unheard in the meetings. This sometimes tends to mismanagement, as the different brains are not brought into the same venue to bring out an idea that is all round or get the idea that would be most preferred. In line with complex systems, information aggregation is manageable. The context here is that one of leaders who is the top management of organizations.

In most circumstances, they surround themselves with individuals who are not there to correct them but are just there to support whatever idea that these top leaders propose. In most times, these thoughts are not the most practical ones, and because the advisors or the committee members want to make sure that they please the leader, they end up selecting the decision that he/she has proposed. They do this intentionally so that they would show how much they approve of him/her how much their support is relevant to the ideas that seem most obvious. However, it is not the case with efficient management. It needs someone to be in constant evaluation of what is supposed to be, and the leaders should allow their committee members to give out their ideas so that there can be an active management since the plans proposed would most probably all be unique. It is also not advisable to make forecasts in complex adaptive systems, as there are no clear or foreseeable signs of how things would be to the extent that predictions can be drawn. This is due to the rapidly changing environment that organizations face. This, therefore, requires that an individual who is at the top management should allocate some percentage of their time to listening to other people in an attempt to read other people’s ideas and also this typically works. There are always individuals who are interested parties that could expose one to realms that the latter is not familiar with, therefore opening up new fields that could have been a mess if dealt with using the ideas of just one individual.

The example here is the global stock markets, the case of Kurtz and Snowden. There are specific units that required management in the complex systems perspective whereby the coherence of the cause and effect only occur in retrospect without repetition. The pattern administration of the stocks and the tracing of the demand for the shares could also be analyzed regarding complex systems, as different units required each to be handled on its own. The complex adaptive systems were used in the process and also to make the process complete, perspective filters were utilized.

Systems Engineering

This refers to the structuring of the different units and their interconnections that make them work as a single holistic unit. In complex systems engineering, one should always understand that all the systems are different such that none is similar to the other (Cilliers, 2005, pp.13). This is to mean that the content of one unit is typically different from those of the rest and also, each system is constantly evolving in its right, increasing its complexity, and continually becoming more different from the rest. Here, it is not the boundaries of the products that matter, but it evolves to become the boundaries of enterprises. This means that any analysis is not done regarding the products as they have grown to become enterprises. This is to mean that every time, there is s process of integrating that keeps on occurring, creating a possibility of more enterprises with time. The process continues, and as a result, enterprise development keeps on growing such that it can be said that it never comes to a definite end. In a bid to evolve, there are the internal properties that are used in the process. The enterprises use the cooperation and competition that is developed internally to be able to stimulate evolution.

The example of systems engineering is in economics whereby the markets are made up of different players that include investors, sellers, buyers, government, brokers, and customers among other agents. The actors in the whole process make up prices, markets, industries, and institutions. In other words, these are the aggregate patterns that form as a result. These aggregate patterns link up to form the total economy. Each of the patterns creates individual behaviors which respond as a recursive loop to the aggregate patterns that bind with the complexity. The overall systems interact creating overall patterns, and this is what systems engineering studies, together with how the patterns that occur in the overall process cause the change in the trends.

Systemic risk

The perils that come from an organization due to the combining and interaction of many systems and as a result, therefore, bring about major disasters to the firm. Systemic risks occur when there is failure to control and manage the complex systems in the right manner to bring out the desired results (Liu, Slotine, and Barabási, 2011, pp.167)

Therefore there is a breakdown of the flow of the process and coordination of the individual units so that they make up a holistic unknit that would be stable enough to give the expected for the targeted results. The problem arises when the unique units that are not in any way the same as each other do not coordinate. This means that what one unit ought to give out to the next unit or units is not exactly of the same quality as the expected outcome that was anticipated. There is a failure by one or more of the units to deal with what w handed over to it or even deliver the intended results. Sometimes it may not be the case that a unit has failed to deliver what was expected of it. It can simply be the case that the whole management of the organization is choosing the wrong path or the wrong initiative. If it is the wrong path chosen, it means that the process should not have been used for the action. Therefore the management went short of ideas to use in the implementation of the project. Not only in the implementation but also in the drawing of the ideas, the organization must have been wrong also (Liu, Slotine, and Barabási, 2011, pp.167).

This may be an indication that there were no comprehensive consultations that would allow the process to be corrected and made into what was expected to be. The management, therefore, did not consult extensively and only used the ideas of perhaps one person, or a limited number of individuals whose ideas were not effective enough in making the project successful. Also, it may be the case that the organization’s leadership also listened to the opinion of one person perhaps because those around the leader wanted to make him/her impressed with their company and so this indicated that failure is inevitable.

The best example in this context is that of the World Bank declaring in its reports that over one million children have succumbed to death due to the global financial crisis that affected many nations in the world. These occur due to the failure of the countries to manage their resources and the systems that their financial flows go through to reach the final citizens in the grass root level. In the processes, the funds are somehow grossly managed by the respective bodies that have been given the authority to spend the money on behalf of the government and the people. In the process of spending the money, the specific units would input services and offer goods to the citizens as the outcome of the intended process. This means that the residents would benefit from the different projects that are put up to secure them employment, provide them with cheap and easily available food as well as rendering the essential services. This is part of the government’s role in ensuring that food and income are readily available to the people.

However, it is not the case as there are gross misappropriation and mismanagement of the funds that are released by the top organs of the governments to the individual units that are tasked to deliver quality goods and services to the people. As a result, there comes a situation that the citizens are unable to afford food to feed their populations, and therefore the death of the children occurs as a consequence due to hunger. On the other hand, when there is a failure to manage in the right manner, there is incompetence of the leadership and or cases of mismanagement that result in fatal results.

Tiny initiating events

These are small issues that come up to gradually affect the operations of the entire organization or process. They are always present within a firm and mostly precede disasters. These events build up and later explode, giving a catastrophic outcome. The example with the reduction of the significant decrease in stock prices in the public stocks serves well. Raising interests by a tiny amount simply because the economy is growing in the US may have this major consequence. The controllers of the capital markets in the US public stocks may feel that the economy is turning into an expensive one, giving an allowance for some extensions and changes to be introduced. It is assumed that the changes may not be gigantic enough to affect the whole process and therefore the introduction is thought to be harmless.

However, because the economy is a free market one that is based on free mobility of labor, the assumption of no government interruption in the activities that happen in the market and the economic agents are free to exercise their power, some actions are unfathomable. This is because the introduction of any change may result in the main changes which may alter the process, destroying the foundation of the whole system. This implies that the prices and quantities are determined by the forces of demand and supply, and therefore there is a possibility that the consumers may not respond positively to the changes in the interest rates and prices.

Changes in the interest rates call for the economic agent to react. The buyers react either positively or negatively, depending on how the decision affects their economic position. Therefore, an increase in the interest rates in the stocks will result in the buyers of stocks shifting from the US to go and trade in other international stocks so that they may make some good [profits. This means the investor funds are diverted from the US market, and they take their wealth else where to invest in stocks. Also, they may also decide to invest their funds in other sectors such as real estate, indicating that the US national stock will be affected. Much worse would be the result that would significantly affect the markets such as having the majority of the meaningful investors deciding to invest elsewhere instead of the US national stocks. This will make the market to collapse if no drastic measures are taken. Sometimes the cause of the Tiny Initiating Events is some stupid decisions that arise as a result of a harmless intention that was meant to bring out some good results from the system. For example in this instance, the stocks would lack marketability due to the lack of the will of the investors to bring out the best out of their money that they want to invest.

Decisions that lead to the Tiny Initiating Events affecting the process are not as harmful as they turn out to be in the end. They are just meant to bring about a negligible change in the process but ends up causing enormous adverse effects that could not be estimated before to be the preparation of the small events. The results of such small initiating events are not reversible. They accumulate to bring about systemic risk as the eventual outcome. The complex system is affected by the small event in a way that it affects one unit that affects another, and the process continues. Before it becomes well established that it is the small event that «corrupted» the entire process, the organization feels the impact in a very negative way.

Another example is the cause of the world war that brought about very disastrous effects. The war was started by a tiny event that was preceded by some other events that seemed not as small as the first one, followed by some others that grew until it became a very significant problem that could not be anticipated. The war started with the assassination of the Austrian prince who was the heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand. This man had gone to Bosnia accompanied by his wife Sue for a mission. However, just a regular citizen assassinated the prince, and there was an outcry in Austria Hungary. The events that followed saw the two countries enter into diplomacy problems with each other, each country requesting to be accorded the due respect that it wants. Austria Hungary was being backed by her allies who were Germany at that time. On the other hand, Bosnia was being supported by France (Haken, and Jumarie, 2006, pp.25). The two countries together with their allies gave each other sleepless nights until it came to the point of having a group war such that many countries came into the war, claiming to back some of the participants in the war. Then the event grew out to become a world war between many nations of the world whereby Germany was the head of the war, fighting against other countries such as France. The situation worsened, and there were serious bloodshed and atrocities.

This example of world war does show how a small event sparked off a series of events that gradually grew to become a major problem. It could only be avoided with the two nations settling it out and eliminating intruders who came in to contribute to the fighting as a show of unity. The two countries could be described as units that had the interconnection lastly resulted in big trouble that could not be estimated to be of a substantial magnitude as it came to be in the end. Therefore there is need to study these small events and eliminate them as early as possible (Haken, and Jumarie, 2006, pp.20). The possibility of detecting them is minimal therefore it requires deep keenness and care so that they can be eliminated at earlier stages.

In conclusion, complex systems demand that no mistakes are made in the running of any of the units as they would entire process. However, there should be some keen evaluation of any action that is taken as one event affects the other and the former affects the next until an effect is felt. This cannot also be eliminated if, in the ideas, there is no inclusion of several opinions as to how to handle the process as their needs brains and diverse ideas that would bring in a holistic mechanism for carrying out a task (Haken, and Jumarie, 2006, pp.22).

Reference List

Cilliers, P., 2005. Knowing complex systems. Managing Organisational Complexity: Philosophy,

Theory, Application, IAP, Connecticut, pp.7-19.

Haken, H. and Jumarie, G., 2006. A macroscopic approach to the complex system. Springer-

Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 3th.

Lecture Notes: System Fundamentals

Liu, Y.Y., Slotine, J.J. and Barabási, A.L., 2011. Controllability of complex networks. nature,

473(7346), p.167.