GST PARADIGM FOR BUSINESS

Vincent O'Rourke

Abstract


Business is defined using General Systems Theory (GST) as a paradigm. As GST theory has been used and abused for over sixty years, the article first reviews GST to establish a basic substrate upon which the author’s views are based. Much of the literature in the field, in an attempt to develop GST into a polished, all-encompassing theory, includes every aspect and nuance that could be encountered. While the quest for this goal sheds new light on the theoretical side of GST, to the average business practitioner, or especially to the average student, applying GST to the study or evaluation of a business as a practical matter becomes more of a daunting challenge as the theory becomes more complicated. This article presents the business paradigm in the simplicity of the original concept of general systems theory, as offered by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, using the trusted, established concepts of business organization and management that have been studied, researched, applied, and taught for many years. The marriage of these business concepts to the explanatory power of general systems theory provides a model that is easy to understand, teach, and apply. The resulting business definition reflects von Bertalanffy’s concept of the applicability of GST to organizations.

Keywords


GST; business; paradigm; Systems Theory; business systems

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