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A snapshot of the summary - Introduction to Business: Processes and Context
1 System Theory and Contingency Approach
What is a business?The organized effort of individuals to produce and provide goods and services to meet the needs of society. Both profit and non-profit organizations are included in this definition.
What are the 3 contexts in which we view the 5 business activities?- Strategic
(globalization as biggest context)
What is examined in the strategic context?The management decisions that determine the direction of the business activities within an organisation. Strategic issues are inseparable from the organisation, as these decisions can alter the context.
What are the 5 issues concerning the organisational levels?1. Goals
5. Organisational/corporate culture
What are the 5 key elements of an organisation?1. Goals of the business
2. How they are executed
3. Ownership and control
5. Structure and organisational culture
What are the 5 factors of the environmental level?1. Economy
5. Cultural and institutional differences
How does the systems approach look at businesses?As one entity made up of many small parts, that can only be understood as a whole, and which (just like a living organism) needs to fit into its environment in order to exist.
How does the contingency approach look at businesses?It analyses the environment and how it could potentially change, and how businesses adapt to that. Business activities and their processes result from the environment.
What are the similarities between the systems and contingency approach?1. Both discuss businesses dealing with the environment and their adaptations to it
2. Both are deterministic and only focus on a limited range of environmental variables
3. Both ignore the influence of organisation on the environment and behaviour of management/workforce, i.e. it is only a one way street
What are the two views on technology?1. (Woodward) Technology has the upper hand over the business manager and is the determining force
2. Other factors can also be determinant influences, and technology can also be seen as a means for the managers to adapt to external challenges.