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What is the "systems approach"?

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Quick Answer

Managers have a "systems approach" in business when they focus on the interdependence of various functions of the organization and external factors in making decisions, according to BusinessDictionary.com. This approach contrasts with a highly functional or analytical approach where decisions made by each business unit are separate from those made in other areas of the organization.

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The goal of a systems approach is to consider the impact on the entire enterprise when a decision is made, according to Wikipedia. A systems manager may opt to hire a candidate who fits better into the organizational culture than one with technical talent. In this case, the cultural impact of the employee's presence is evaluated rather than his micro-role as a member of a department.

TechTarget indicates that companies operating with a systems approach rely on software programs to conduct statistical analysis. The software is used to evaluate the impact of individual decisions on all facets of the organization. Before making a departmental decision, a manager can study historical instances or trends following similar decisions. Even if a function gain is likely, the software analysis may reveal that significant negative consequences occurred following such actions in the past. A systems approach is also helpful in creating a culture of collaboration, rather then one where every department fends for itself.

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