Module1 Complete - Module 1 overview and objectives Page 1...

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Printable View of: Module 1 overview and objectives File: Module 1 Overview Print Save to File Module 1: Systems Concepts for Engineers and Technologists Overview Our perceptions of the society we live in differ. This is because we identify the major elements of our society in different ways. Though our perceptions differ, we all realise that various factors in our society are interrelated and the overall situation is the result of these interactions. For example, the unemployment situation at a given time is the result of many activities such as manufacturing in industry, government economic policies and market competition due to quality and costs. It is virtually impossible to study only one aspect of society on its own without considering other related aspects. In fact, society is a large system where each aspect is connected to others. Similarly, a manufacturing establishment is a system. The various aspects involved in manufacturing, such as labour, production capacity, raw materials, costs in production and quality of produced goods, are interrelated, and the interrelationships determine the overall performance of the manufacturing establishment. Real-life systems change both structurally and functionally over time. Change is an inevitable and continuous process. To the planners and decision makers in our society, it is not whether to make changes that is of primary importance—what is more important is how those changes affect society; what can be done to minimise the bad effects of the changes and how to capitalise on future opportunities. The major responsibilities of a decision maker are: studying the total system in question determining what constitutes the whole system determining the various subsystems and how they are interrelated (e.g. individual subsystems such as production, marketing, research and development, personnel, etc. are parts of a bigger organisation and they operate within the organisation in an integrated manner) identifying the factors are under the control of the decision maker (e.g. policy factors where decision makers apply their judgment to alter the behaviour of the system) evaluating how effective the controls are (e.g. one policy factor might be more effective than another, and it becomes a task for the modeller to find out which policy or set of policies will best suit a given situation). Managerial functions have a systems bias. The most primitive concept of management is, perhaps, asking subordinates to do whatever the owner of a business wishes without due consideration given to the wishes of the employees. This situation was forcibly rectified with the emergence of unions. Labour relations became more sensitive and it became necessary for the owner–manager to define the function of each employee in detail. The ‘scientific management’ movement (as advocated by Frederick W Taylor) appeared to have solved the problems of management functions and management–employee relations in the era of mass production. But the idea of division of labour, specialisation and fixation of responsibilities
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This note was uploaded on 05/10/2008 for the course SEB SEB323 taught by Professor Cavenett during the Spring '08 term at A.T. Still University.

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Module1 Complete - Module 1 overview and objectives Page 1...

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