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General Systems Theory: Applications for Organization and Management

Fremont E. Kast and James E. Rosenzweig
The Academy of Management Journal
Vol. 15, No. 4, General Systems Theory (Dec., 1972), pp. 447-465
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/255141
Page Count: 19
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General Systems Theory: Applications for Organization and Management
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Abstract

General systems theory has been proposed as a basis for the unification of science. The open systems model has stimulated many new conceptualizations in organization theory and management practice. However, experience in utilizing these concepts suggests many unresolved dilemmas. Contingency views represent a step toward less abstraction, more explicit patterns of relationships, and more applicable theory. Sophistication will come when we have a more complete understanding of organizations as total systems (configurations of sub-systems) so that we can prescribe more appropriate organizational designs and managerial systems. Ultimately, organization theory should serve as the foundation for more effective management practice.

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