Systems Theory for Business and Organizations


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by

systems theory variety of disciplines

Organizations are living systems. Seeing organizations in their dynamic wholeness gives leaders insights to help their organizations function more effectively, more creatively, and with more satisfaction. The purpose of this program is to introduce students to basic systems theory and explore systems concepts across an array of disciplines including history, philosophy, ecology, psychology, economics, business and management. Students will also be introduced to several systems thinking tools and practices to develop a systems perspective so they are able to work more effectively as participants and change agents in their businesses, non-profits and community organizations. Working with several case studies, students will identify systems dynamics at play in a variety of organizations, examining internal and external dynamics of these systems to identify potent leverage points for improving the system's performance. Further linking theory with practice, students will work with one case from their professional or personal experience to put the systems thinking tools to work, to identify system dynamics and then imagine possible interventions and anticipate consequent systemic effects. We will also examine our group’s dynamics as a living laboratory in light of what we’re learning.  We will draw on the work of Meadows, Senge, Cajete, Morgan, Jung, Wheatley, Wilber and others, and several online resources.


Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

management and leadership in business, non-profit, governmental and community organizations

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Weekend

Advertised schedule: 9a-5p Sat/Sun Apr 5, 12, 13, 26, 27, May 3, 4, 17, 18, June 7    


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online:


Date Revision
January 6th, 2014 Program added Jan. 6, 2014.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 24


Course Reference Number

(8 credits): 30318

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