The Systems Viewpoint The systems viewpoint sees organizations as a system, either open or closed, with inputs, outputs, transformational processes, and feedback. In other words, the systems viewpoint regards the organization as a system of interrelated parts or collection of subsystems that operate together to achieve a common purpose. This activity is important because by adopting this point of view, you can look at your organization both as (1) a collection of subsystems, and (2) a part of the larger environment. The goal of this exercise is to challenge your knowledge of the four parts of a system. Sam owns and operates Floating Away, a beach concession business. She has five rental wagons located along a seven-mile stretch of a vacation beach. Each wagon rents floats, boogie boards, umbrellas, and lounge chairs by the hour or by the day. Customers walk to the wagon to inquire about rates and usually rent the items immediately. Sam prides herself on the way her employees interact with her customers in order to help make their vacation experience the most enjoyable and convenient it can be. For example, if someone rents an umbrella for the day, the wagon worker follows the customer to his or her desired location and sets it up. And at the end of the day, the worker retrieves the umbrella. Customers have appeared to be very satisfied with this arrangement, as evidenced by the profitability enjoyed by Sam’s business for the past several years. This year, however, a new competitor, JJ’s Floats, has opened up close to one of her wagons and has seriously impacted the profitability of that wagon. Sam realized that she needed to find a way to innovate and improve her offerings or run the risk of losing even more business to her competitor. Sam decided to survey her current customers to learn what her employees could do to make their rental experience even better. Using the customer comments that they received, Sam and her employees worked together to develop a plan of action. They came up with several improvements based on customer responses. One change they made was in the length of time customers could rent the products. Customers indicated they wanted to have the rentals for their entire vacation period without having to come back each morning, Sam decided to add weekly rental prices and allow customers to keep the items in their hotel rooms, returning them at the end of the rental period. She also began setting up umbrellas and chairs along the beach each morning ahead of the crowd with signs hanging on them saying, “Have a seat, the rental attendant will be right along to help you with rental prices attached. This made her rentals much more convenient for the customers. With these adjustments, her profits returned to record-high levels, and Sam appears to have thwarted the threat of her new competitor-at least for the time being.
First, look over the diagram of the four parts of a system. Next, hover over each term to read a statement that pertains to the case. Finally, click and drag each term to the part of a system that its statement best depicts. Transformational processes Output Comments Inputs Customers Asking Employee Great Feedback Floats Profitability Attitudo