Organizational Culture and Systems Thinking
The Alternating Theory of Education Culture
Chesterton E. Smith
|Culture is the systems-driver of the |
The school as organization operates as a system of the “organ” called education. Metaphorically it is alive and mutates from lifestyle to lifestyle, from fashion to fashion, into phases of culture; learned and taught ever so differently. Like the Ludwig von Beethoven for music, Ludwig von Bertalanffy is generally seen as the father of Systems theory (a transdisciplinary and multiperspectual theory synonymed with cybernetic) which includes “feedback loops” as part of complex systems by studying subjects like complexity, self-organization, connectionism and adaptive systems. A web of relationships creates emergent properties of the whole but the properties of the whole may not be found in any analysis of the parts. The uniqueness of systems theory lies in the wholeness that cannot be seen in the parts. This has led to claims that behavior of the whole cannot be explained in terms of the behavior of the parts. The attempt to explain complex systems that consists of a large number of mutually interacting and interrelated parts in terms of those interactions is the common goal for cybernetics, catastrophe theory, chaos theory, complexity theory and systems theory. All these theories could be defined under a broad term ‘General System Theory’ as they work in existing models, principles, laws, subclasses and their component elements, and the relationships or forces between them. Systems thinking are based on the belief that the component parts of a system will act differently when isolated from its original environment or parts of the system. This approach to analysis includes viewing systems in a holistic manner by gaining insight into the whole by understanding the linkages and interactions between the elements that comprise the whole system. It acknowledges that a change...