System Theory

in Organisational Communication


System theory was first proposed by Von Berthalanffy and was further studied by Ross Ashby in the 1950’s. Berthalanffy proposed a system which included the interrelations and the peculiarities of an element. His concept is focused on the completeness rather than concentrating on the single peculiarities of the system in an attempt to bring consistency between various fields. They believed the wholeness can bring more significance to the system than focusing on each and every aspect. Through this method the scientists can raise their findings to a whole new perspective.

System Theory

Everything around us is being divided into various associations by which we categories into various systems. The systems theory is associated with unification of happenings detached from their subsistence. A system always will have an entity depending on the nature of the system. This entity within the system will have some general qualities and will also hold a bond between them.

We can find some common elements within systems. They are

  • Input– Any type of input in the form of information or even the manual effort, which are processed by the system to get the desired output
  • Throughput– The input will be processed to get an output. A simple logical explanation. This process which the system employs to get a desired output can be termed throughput
  • Output– It is the end product of the processing by the system
  • Feedback– It is an evaluation of the production process of how effective was the process been and how effectively the process could be modified with other suggestions
  • Control– It is the process employed to measure the effectiveness of the processes from input to output
  • Environment– The situation in which the entire process takes place
  • Goal– The goal is targeted initially to get the desired output. Working to achieve the goal can be the collective aspect in all the systems

System follows these common elements while processing an output but each system differs in their characteristics.

Some of the major types of system are

  1. Static system– Much as the word conveys, the static system are not susceptible to change along with the environment
  2. Dynamic system– The dynamic system is ever-changing and adaptable to the environment
  3. Closed system– Closely associated with the static system. Will have fixed elements and other relationships with the environment
  4. Open system– Open system will be interactive and will be flexible with the elements and thus the output from the system


Working of a simple microphone can be taken as an example. Microphone can be considered a system which converts sound waves into electrical signals. In this system the input is the sound waves. The throughout or the process which takes place within the system occurs with the help of a diaphragm which vibrates due to the sound waves and is converted into electrical signals. At the end of the microphone, a loudspeaker is mounted with the help of which the electrical signals are converted back into audio waves. The output is the enhanced audio waves.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Igweagbara, Silverline N. December 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm

you guys are wonderful. your write-ups are really helpful. keep it up

bafokeng sepalo August 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm

I’ve learned a lot through the system theory #big up to Mr. Von Berthalanffy

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