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Systems Approaches to Management

Managing change is one of the difficult activities that many organizations come across. The change that occur because of diversity and technology advancements poses numerous challenges as the majority of them may not have implemented sufficient strategies for dealing with it. However, the US Army has implemented several approaches for managing it. Therefore, this script will evaluate the effectiveness of such approaches, by discussing their weaknesses and strengths, together with their impact on workplace effectiveness. It also provides advices on ways improving them (Jackson, 2000).

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In an endeavor to actualize its full potential, the US Army applies the “Functionalist Systems Approach” (FSA), as one of the change management approaches (Jackson, 2000). This approach states that organizations have assumed the form of a living being, and the author argues that a suitable environment is essential for their goals’ attainment. This approach has been effective, as the leadership has endeavored to create an environment that has assisted in counteracting the effects of such changes. Additionally, the FSA dictates that the management team need to develop a backup plan in case change occurs. For instance, such organizations need to implement various information stores. Therefore, in an event, change occurs; appropriate individuals should take the role of advising the management accordingly.

It is crucial for organizations to implement strategies for managing stress, conflict, and power. According to sources, the US Army has implemented all these thus enhancing its change management strategies. As a component of the FSA, the Army has employed the “Living Systems Theory” (LST) (Jackson, 2000). This is a scientific theory, which incorporates several scientific principles in providing solutions to problems arising due to change. Scientific experiments are pivotal in establishing the existence of such problems.

This theory states that the ease with which to manage change depends enormously on the individual’s response to the change. In case, an individual reacts positively and agrees to adhere to the procedure adapted to managing it, then it is feasible to attain the success. In respect to this, the US Army has enhanced such alignments, which have aided the entire process. According to LST, three things can trigger change in an organization. This could occur when maintaining, actualizing, and propagating its processes. Some of these forces are external, while others are from within. The US Army has applied the LST to manage changes for these reasons. In depicting the effectiveness of such approaches, it is necessary to assess their strengths, as well as their weaknesses (Parlier, 2011).

One of its strengths is the eight levels that it has integrated in managing change. Moreover, it has many subsections dedicated to accomplishing dissimilar tasks in the change management procedure. The fact that it is scientific in nature allows for extensive research in the establishment of the problem. Its capacity to provide information essential for management is among its strengths. However, several weaknesses are present in the approaches identified. The concept of regarding organizations as living systems receives opposition from many researchers since they comprise of inhumane entities. These strengths, as well as the weaknesses, have affected the workplace setting both positively, and negatively. Therefore, I would advise the US Army division to consider applying approaches such as “Continuous Change Management” (CCM) (Parlier, 2011).

Management of change in organizations has become a challenge that demands an immediate action. For instance, the US Army is an apt example of an organization that has adapted several approaches for purposes of managing change. The FSA and LST are the two main approaches that have adequately aided in managing change. However, it would be appropriate to deem utilizing the principles of CCM in the management of change.


Jackson, M. (2000). Systems approaches to management. New York, NY: Springer publishers

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Parlier, G. (2011). Transforming US Army supply chains: strategies for management innovation. New York, NY: Expert Press.

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