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ERIC Number: ED231049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Organizations and Their Environments: A System Dynamics Perspective.
Gaynor, Alan K.; Clauset, Karl H., Jr.
From a system dynamics perspective, distinctions between organizations and their environments are not objective givens, but hypothetical formulations. Wherever a reciprocal effect of variables is hypothesized, these variables are considered to be inside a single problem system. Everything outside this model system is the environment. To understand, for example, the problem of the shortage of math and science teachers, it is necessary to consider the relations between two sectors--the educational and the industrial--that have been traditionally viewed as "environmental" to each other, but which can be seen from a system dynamics perspective as integral parts of a single functional system. As a series of causal-loop diagrams illustrates, the dynamics of industrial salaries and technical education may be viewed as constituting such a system. In times of a shortage of highly trained technical personnel, rising industrial salaries tend to draw personnel away from teaching positions, thereby weakening the quality of math and science programs and undermining the pool of technical personnel for both schools and industry in the future. It is important to understand such relations as constituting a single problem system so that policy options may be aimed at defining interventions within that internal system that will be effective under a variety of environmental conditions. (JBM)
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Mobility, Higher Education, Labor Supply, Mathematics Teachers, Models, Problem Solving, Salaries, School Business Relationship, Science Teachers, Scientific Personnel, Systems Analysis, Systems Approach, Teacher Supply and Demand, Technical Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).