By C. West Churchman
Publish 12 months note: initially released in 1968. This reproduction is the second one Laurel (Dell Publishing) printing, 1984
Filenote: PDF is searchable snapshot ocr.
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Additional resources for The Systems Approach (Revised & Updated Edition)
And if he tries to reduce his "costs," he'll find that his performance goes down. This does not mean of course that all idle inventories, idle men, and idle equipment are beneficial to the system. All it means is that idleness by itself is not the only thing to consider when one is thinking about how a system is performing. Idleness by itself is not even a symptom of trouble. Unless one has a broader context in which to think about the system, then it's useless to think about idle inventories and men and equipment.
Nor does it contrast these "shoulds" with what is really happening. But for the time being, let's accept the list and see what it means. The objectives of the overall system are a logical place to begin, because, as we have seen, so many mistakes may be made in subsequent thinking about the system once one has ignored the true objectives of the whole. " The inhabitants of systems dearly love to what their objectives are, and the statements they issue have a number of purposes that are quite independent of the performance of the system.
Is it correct to say, for example, that what lies beyond the paint job of a factory is necessarily outside of the factory as a system? The factory may have agents in all parts of the country who are purchasing raw materials or selling its products. These are surely "part" of the total system of the factory, and yet they are not usually within of the factory its walls. In a may belong more subtle case, the to various p)oliiical managers organizations through which they are capable of exerting various kinds of political pressures.