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Environmental management and organisations
Environmental management and organisations

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9 Organisation as a system

In reflecting on structures and processes of an organisation, it is also possible to adopt an alternative way of thinking about an organisation – as a system.

As you will remember from Section 4, a system can be defined as a set of components interconnected for a purpose. This concurs very closely to the earlier definition of an organisation as an organised body of people with a particular purpose.

You may already be familiar with thinking about an organisation in this way. Many parts of organisations are often described as systems (e.g. the financial accounting system, the internal post system, the email system, the IT system, etc.). It is not such a significant leap to see the whole organisation as a system itself.