Do you think managers solve problems or manage messes?

Thinking in Systems

According to systems theorist Russell Ackoff (1979):

Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consists of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes…Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes. (p. 93)

Do you think managers solve problems or manage messes? Consider how thinking in systems alters or supports Ackoff’s hypothesis.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the resources. Then, consider how thinking in systems may influence organizational leadership and management.

Post an explanation of not less than 2 pages of how thinking in systems for leaders and managers might be a benefit to organizations. Then, explain the potential limitations of thinking in systems.

Add additional references in APA to support your idea.



Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green.

Chapter 1, “The Basics” (pp. 11–34)

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