The chosen company that this paper is to be written on is Nutrisystems Inc
Background Reading for Case 5
While most of models of organizational diagnosis that we have been exposed to in this class recognize the existence of feedback loops, none of them really offer a thorough discussion of the complexity of feedback or how it can be used to promote organizational improvement and development. To get a better view of this topic, we turn to the work on systems thinking and organizational learning. Much of this literature is based on the work of Peter Senge whose seminal book The Fifth Discipline popularized the notion that organizations are capable of learning.
In all of the readings, pay partiular attention to the two types of Feedback Loops: Reinforcing Feedback that causes growth, and Balancing Feedback that provides stabilizing effects.
This first reading is a good overview.
Bellinger, G. (2004) Introduction to systems thinking. Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/intst/int.htm
This second reading is quite long and reviews much of the work in the area of learning organizations. Read it all if you like (see menu on left side of the page), but the most relevant part of the paper for this course is part VI, which covers systems thinking:
Larsen, K., McInerney, C., Nyquist, C., Santos, A., & Silsbee, D. (1996) Learning Organizations (Part VI: Systems Thinking) Retrieved from http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/larsenk/learnorg/index.html
IF YOU ARE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT FEEDBACK LOOPS, here is another tutorial on this complex concept. Bathtime, anyone?
Optional Case 5 Reading:
Bellinger, G. (2004) theWay of systems. Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/theWay/theWay.htm
Bellinger, G. (2004) Archetypes. Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/arch/arch.htm
This is the home page for the extensive site from which much of the material for this module was taken. http://www.systems-thinking.org/index.htm
In this final Case of the Integrated Case Project, you will to take a look at feedback loops in your organization . Identify one Balancing Loop and one Reinforcing Loop. Draw on the background readings from this module in constructing your diagnosis. Within each of these feedback loops there are opportunities for learning and improvement.
Refer to the background readings on System Feedback Loops.
CASE 5 ASSIGNMENT:
You need to present two cases in this paper. For each Feedback Loop (Balancing and Reinforcing) Make a Case for the Learning Opportunities.
Be sure to include references. Turn in the 5-6 page paper by the end of the module.
KEYS TO THE ASSIGNMENT:
This is what you need to do:
Generate evidence for the grounds of your cases. Describe each Feedback Loop that you identify in your organization and explain why you selected them. Make sure you explain the Loop, the cause and effect process within the Loop. You could also include a Causal Loop Diagram. If you do, show the arrows and direction of affect (+ or -). Also, determine what the warrant is for your case.
Briefly discuss the theory of organizational learning (the warrant and additional grounds.)
Identify the opportunities for organizational learning in each Feedback Loop. Make a Case that these are learning opportunities. Logically show how the feedback process provides an opportunity for the organization to learn and improve its performance. Be precise. Depth and breadth in your discussion is always a good thing.