Aina (2002:25) gave the basic assumptions of the systems theory as
An organisation of many inter-related parts which function for
the attainment of organisational goals.
Co-operation between separated departments ensures increased
output, unlike what would have happened if each had functioned
There are continuous interactions between organisations and their
environment for input - output department. Organisations that do
not interact with their environment operate closed system and
those that do otherwise operate open system.
The element of feedback is necessary for effective functioning of
an organisation as a system. Through feedback mechanisms,
managements get vital information for self assessment and
correction. This enables them to adjust to changes or become
Applied to media organisation management, the systems theory will go a
long way towards avoiding unnecessary duplication of duties. This is
perhaps the reason for departmentalisation of media organisations even
though each department depends on the other to function. For instance, a
live studio of a typical television station needs the assistance of the
control room to function. The news and current affairs unit depends on
the engineering department, production department, administrative unit,
programming unit, marketing/commercial or adverts unit, finance unit,
security department, clerical officers, cleaners, etc. All these units
function as a system to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
The Socio-Technical Systems Theories
Closely related to the systems theory is the socio-technical systems
theory. This theory explains the relationship between organisational
strictures and technologies. Advocates of this school such as Joan
Woodward, and Eric Trist believe that employee’s job in an organisation
is determined by the technology in use because the technologies
determine the work methods.
Those in this school anchor their arguments on the fact that technologies
determine and even impose the work methods.