Organisations as Systems
Business has its origins in primitive societies - food gathering, hunting and eventually agriculture were essential to sustain even a basic form of life and were more effective when people formed themselves into organised groups or communities. The making of tools, implements and clothing gave rise to today's manufacturing industry. In this environment, organisations have developed that are able to specialise in the manufacture of specific ranges of products.
A large number of organisations currently make use of computer based information systems. These organisations vary in size, and in the aims and objectives that they are attempting to achieve. For example they may be:
* business organisations which are trying to make a profit by providing a product or a service
* charities trying to raise money or highlight a specific problem
* service organisations such as the health service
* special interest groups such as animal welfare or environmental groups trying to change public opinion
* clubs and societies such as golf clubs or social clubs.
Each of these organisations has an objective or a set of objectives which it is trying to achieve. These objectives may sometimes be difficult to identify and may not be the objectives which the organisation publicly adopts. Sometimes there may be contradictions between the different objectives of the organisation.
In order to achieve its objectives an organisation must decide on what policies to implement and what actions to take. It must monitor the effects of those policies and actions and decide whether they are helping to achieve the objective and if necessary take corrective action.
If we look at a business organisation we can see that its main objective is usually to make a profit in either the long or the short term though other aims such as defending market...