A system is a number of interdependent parts functioning as a whole for some purpose.
Systems and Wholeness
The concept of "wholeness" is very important in general system analysis. The system must be viewed as a whole and modified only through changes in its parts. Before modifications of the parts can be made for the overall benefit of the system, a thorough knowledge of how each part functions and the interrelationships among the parts must be present.1
Systems Approach to Management
The systems approach to management is based on general system theory – the theory that says that to understand fully the operation of an entity, the entity must be viewed as a system. This requires understanding the interdependence of its parts
Systems Theory: the transdisciplinary study of the abstract organization of phenomena, independent of their substance, type, or spatial or temporal scale of existence. It investigates both the principles common to all complex entities, and the (usually mathematical) models which can be used to describe them.
Analytic vs. Systemic Approaches
The analytic and the systemic approaches are more complementary than opposed, yet neither one is reducible to the other.
The analytic approach seeks to reduce a system to its elementary elements in order to study in detail and understand the types of interaction that exist between them. By modifying one variable at a time, it tries to infer general laws that will enable one to predict the properties of a system under very different conditions. To make this prediction possible, the laws of the additivity of elementary properties must be invoked. This is the case in homogeneous systems, those composed of similar elements and having weak interactions among them. Here the laws of statistics readily apply, enabling one to understand the behavior of the multitude-of disorganized complexity.
The laws of the additively of elementary properties do not apply in highly...