Advertisement

An Overview of the Contribution of Systems Thinking Within Management and Marketing

  • Roberto Bruni
  • Luca Carrubbo
  • Ylenia Cavacece
  • Debora Sarno
Chapter
Part of the New Economic Windows book series (NEW)

Abstract

In recent years, common interests have led the fields of marketing and management to differentiate themselves, even in similar research areas. This chapter provides an overview of systems thinking in these two disciplines, reading the main concepts in an integrated way according to relational and value perspectives. A systematic literature review is conducted using the Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar databases, focusing on applications of the Viable System Model and the viable Systems approach. Due to the adoption of systems thinking, the paper can serve to spur further studies to better define the boundaries and the eventual inclusion of marketing in management and vice-versa.

Keywords

Systems thinking Systems theories Viable systems approach Viable system model 

References

  1. Adam, T. (2014). Advancing the application of systems thinking in health. Health Research Policy and Systems, 12(1), 50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, W. (2000). The basic management cycle: A systems approach to the management process. In Proceedings of ICSTM 2000: International Conference on Systems Thinking in Management (pp. 39–43), Geelong, 8–10 November.Google Scholar
  3. Ashby, R. W. (1958). General systems theory as a new discipline. General Systems, 3, 16.Google Scholar
  4. Barcelo-Valenzuela, M., Sanchez-Schmitz, G., Perez-Soltero, A., Martin-Rubio, F., & Palma, J. (2008). Defining the problem: Key element for the success of knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 6(4), 322–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barile, S. (2006). L’impresa come sistema. Contributi sull’Approccio Sistemico Vitale (I ed.). Torino: Giappichelli.Google Scholar
  6. Barile, S. (2008). L’impresa come sistema – Contributi sull’Approccio Sistemico Vitale (II ed.). Torino: Giappichelli.Google Scholar
  7. Barile, S. (2009). Management Sistemico Vitale. Torino: Giappichelli.Google Scholar
  8. Barile, S., & Polese, F. (2010a). Linking viable systems approach and many-to-many network approach to service-dominant logic and service science. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 2(1), 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barile, S., & Polese, F. (2010b). Smart service systems and viable service systems: Applying systems theory to service science. Journal of Service Science, 2(1/2), 20–39.Google Scholar
  10. Barile, S., & Polese, F. (2011). The viable systems approach and its potential contribution to marketing theory. In Various Authors (Ed.), Contributions to theoretical and practical evidences in management. A viable systems approach (VSA), ASVSA – Association for research on Viable Systems (pp. 139–173). Avellino: International Printing.Google Scholar
  11. Barile, S., Pels, J., Polese, F., & Saviano, M. (2012a). An introduction on the viable systems approach and its contribution to marketing. Journal of Business Market Management, 2(54–78).Google Scholar
  12. Barile, S., Saviano, M., Polese, F., & Di Nauta, P. (2012b). Reflections on service systems boundaries: A viable systems perspective. The case of the London Borough of Sutton. European Journal of Management, 30(5), 451–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Barile, S., Carrubbo, L., Iandolo, F., & Caputo, F. (2013a). From ‘EGO’ to ‘ECO’ in B2B relationships. Journal of Business Market and Management, 6(4), 228–253.Google Scholar
  14. Barile, S., Polese, F., Calabrese, M., Iandolo, F., & Carrubbo, L. (2013b). A theoretical framework for measuring value creation based on viable systems approach (VSA). In S. Barile (Ed.), Contributions to theoretical and practical advances in management viable systems approach. Rome: ARACNE.Google Scholar
  15. Barile, S., Polese, F., Saviano, M., Pels, J., & Carrubbo, L. (2014). The contribution of vsa and sdl perspectives to strategic thinking in emerging economies. Managing Service Quality, 24(6), 565–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Barile, S., Sancetta, G., & Saviano, M. (2015). Management. Il modello sistemico e le decisioni manageriali (Vol. 1). Torino: G Giappichelli Editore.Google Scholar
  17. Basole, R. C., & Rouse, W. B. (2008). Complexity of service value networks: Conceptualization and empirical investigation. IBM Systems Journal, 47(1), 53–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Beer, S. (1972). Brain of the firm. London: The Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  19. Beer, S. (1975). Platform for change. London: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  20. Bendoly, E. (2013). System dynamics understanding in projects: Information sharing, psychological safety, and performance effects. Production and Operations Management, 23(8), 1352–1369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Beth, S., Burt, D. N., Copacino, W., Gopal, C., Lee, H. L., Lynch, R. P., & Morris, S. (2003). Supply chain challenges – Building relationships. Harvard Business Review, 81(7), 64–73.Google Scholar
  22. Birnbaum, P. H., Rossini, F. A., & Baldwin, D. R. (Eds.). (1990). International research management: Studies in interdisciplinary methods from business, government, and academia. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Capra, F. (2002). The hidden connections. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  24. Carrubbo, L. (Ed.). (2013). La Co-creazione di valore nelle destinazioni turistiche. Rome: RIREA.Google Scholar
  25. Carrubbo, L., Iandolo, F., & Pitardi, V. (2015). The viable decision maker for CAS survival: Between change and adaptation. In: E. Gummesson, C. Mele, & F. Polese (Eds.), System theory and service science: Integrating three perspectives in a new service agenda. Naples, 9–12 June 2015.Google Scholar
  26. Cavaleri, S., Firestone, J., & Reed, F. (2012). Managing project problem-solving patterns. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 5(1), 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Checkland, P. (1997). Systems thinking, systems practice. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  28. Checkland, P. (1999). Systems thinking. In W. Currie & B. Galliers (Eds.), Rethinking management information systems: An interdisciplinary perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Chen, Z., Dahlgaard-Park, S. M., & Yu, L. (2014). Service quality management and ecosystem theory. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 25(9-10), 1190–1205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Choi, C. J., & Hilton, B. (2005). Knowledge resources: Critical systems thinking, viable system model and ‘gifts’. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 22(6), 561–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Christopher, W. F. (2007). Holistic management: Managing what matters for company success. Hoboken: Wiley Interscience.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Chronéer, D., & Backlund, F. (2015). A holistic view on learning in project-based organizations. Project Management Journal, 46(3), 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Chroneer, D., & Mirijamdotter, A. (2009). Systems thinking benefits in supply change management: An illustration of the viable systems model in a supply chain. International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 6(3–4), 227–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Conroy, D. M., & Allen, W. (2010). Who do you think you are? An examination of how systems thinking can help social marketing support new identities and more sustainable living patterns. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 18(3), 195–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Conti, T. (2010). System thinking in quality management. The TQM Journal, 22(4), 352–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Costello, K., Crawford, L., Bentleym, L., & Pollack, J. (2002). Connecting soft systems thinking with project management practice: An organizational change case study. In Ragsdell, et al. (Eds.), Systems theory and practice in the knowledge age (pp. 47–54). New York: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  37. De Santo, M., Pietrosanto, A., Napoletano, P., & Carrubbo, L. (2011). Knowledge based service systems. In E. Gummesson, C. Mele, & F. Polese (Eds.), System theory and service science: Integrating three perspectives in a new service agenda. Giannini, Naples, 14–17 June 2011.Google Scholar
  38. Demirkan, H., Kauffman, R. J., Vayghan, J. A., Fill, H. G., Karagiannis, D., & Maglio, P. P. (2008). Service-oriented technology and management: Perspectives on research and practice for the coming decade. Perspectives on the Technology of Service Operations. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 7(4), 356–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Demirkan, H., Spohrer, J., & Krishna, V. (2011a). Service systems implementation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Demirkan, H., Spohrer, J., & Krishna, V. (2011b). The science of service systems. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Donald, N. (2010). Systems thinking, complexity theory and transnational management. Otago Management Graduate Review, 8, 21–33.Google Scholar
  42. Emery, F. E., & Trist, E. L. (1960). Socio-technical systems. In F. E. Emery (Ed.), Systems thinking. Middlesex: Penguin.Google Scholar
  43. Espejo, R. (1999). Seeing systems: Overcoming organisational fragmentation. In A. M. Castell, A. J. Gregory, G. A. Hindle, M. E. James, & G. Ragsdell (Eds.), Synergy matters: Working with systems in the 21st century. New York: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  44. Espejo, R., & Harnden, R. J. (1989). The viable system model. London: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  45. Espinosa, A., Harnden, R., & Walker, J. A. (2008). A complexity approach to sustainability – Stafford Beer revisited. European Journal of Operational Research, 187(2), 636–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ganzert, C., Martinelli, D. P., & Delai, I. (2012). Intelligence systems methodology: A systemic approach to the organizational intelligence function. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 10(2), 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Golinelli, G. M. (2000). L’approccio sistemico al governo dell’impresa. L’impresa sistema vitale (I ed.). Padova: CEDAM.Google Scholar
  48. Golinelli, G. M. (2005). L’approccio sistemico al governo dell’impresa. L’impresa sistema vitale. Padova: CEDAM.Google Scholar
  49. Golinelli, G. M. (2010). Viable systems approach (VSA). Governing business dynamics. Padova: Kluwer Cedam.Google Scholar
  50. Guerreiro, E. P., Neto, P. L. D. O. C., & Moreira Filho, U. M. (2014). Multidisciplinary management: Model of excellence in the management applied to products and services. In IFIP International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems (pp. 27–34), September 2014. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  51. Haines, S. (2000). The systems thinking approach to strategic planning and management. New York: St. Lucie Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hitchins, D. K. (2003). Advanced systems thinking, engineering and management. Norwood, MA: Artech House.Google Scholar
  53. Holweg, M., & Pil, F. K. (2008). Theoretical perspectives on the coordination of supply chains. Journal of Operations Management, 26(3), 389–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Jackson, M. (2003). Systems thinking: Creative holism for managers. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  55. Jackson, M. (2009). Fifty years of systems thinking for managers. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60(1), 24–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kamppinen, M., Vihervaara, P., & Aarras, N. (2008). Corporate responsibility and systems thinking. Tools for balanced risk management. International Journal of Sustainable Society, 1, 158–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Karppinen, H., Seppänen, K., & Huiskonen, J. (2014). Identifying product and process configuration requirements in a decentralised service delivery system. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 17(3), 294–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1966). The social psychology of organization. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  59. Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). The social psychology of organizations (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  60. Layton, R. A. (2007). Marketing systems: A core macromarketing concept. Journal of Macromarketing, 27(3), 227–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Layton, R. A. (2011). Towards a theory of marketing systems. European Journal of Marketing, 45(1-2), 259–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lee, L. S., & Green, E. (2015). Systems thinking and its implications in enterprise risk management. Journal of Information Systems, 29(2), 195–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Luhmann, N. (1990). Soziale Sisteme. Grundriß einer allgemeinen Theorie. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verla g.Google Scholar
  64. Lusch, R., Vargo, S., & Tanniru, M. (2009). Service, value networks and learning. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 38(1), 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Lyneis, J. M., & Ford, D. N. (2007). System dynamics applied to project management: A survey, assessment, and directions for future research. System Dynamics Review, 23(2-3), 157–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Maani, K. E., & Maharaj, V. (2004). Links between systems thinking and complex decision making. System Dynamics Review, 20(1), 21–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Maturana, H. R., & Varela, F. J. (1975). Autopoietic systems. BLC Report 9. University of Illinois.Google Scholar
  68. Maull, M., Geraldi, J., & Johnston, R. (2012). Service supply chain: A customer perspective. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 48(4), 72–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Mawby, D., & Stupples, D. (2002). Systems thinking for managing projects. IEMC-2002: IEEE International Engineering Management Conference (Vols. I and II, pp. 344–349). Proceedings. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.Google Scholar
  70. Mele, C., Pels, J., & Polese, F. (2010). A brief review of systems theories and their managerial applications. Service Science, 2(1/2), 126–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Mingers, J., & White, L. (2010). A review of the recent contribution of systems thinking to operational research and management science. European Journal of Operational Research, 207, 1147–1161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Moon, S. A., & Kim, D. J. (2005). Systems thinking ability for supply chain management. Supply Chain Management – An International Journal, 10(5), 394–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Murad, R. S. A., & Cavana, R. Y. (2012). Applying the viable system model to ICT project management. International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 4(3), 186–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Mutingi, M., & Mbohwa, C. (2014). Understanding sustainability in healthcare systems: A systems thinking perspective. In 2014 I.E. International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (pp. 597–601), December 2014.Google Scholar
  75. Napoletano, P., & Carrubbo, L. (2011). Becoming smarter: Towards a new generation of services systems. In: Proceedings of 1st Cooper Link Workshop, Vol. 3(3), August 2011.Google Scholar
  76. Ndlela, M. N. (2014). Critical success factors for effective knowledge sharing: Integrating intra-organizational communication and KM tools. European Conference on Knowledge Management, 2, 724.Google Scholar
  77. O’Donnell, E. (2005). Enterprise risk management: A systems-thinking framework for the event identification phase. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 6(3), 177–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Pagani, M., & Otto, P. (2013). Integrating strategic thinking and simulation in marketing strategy: Seeing the whole system. Journal of Business Research, 66(9), 1568–1575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Paina, L., Bennett, S., Ssengooba, F., & Peters, D. H. (2014). Advancing the application of systems thinking in health: Exploring dual practice and its management in Kampala, Uganda. Health Research Policy and Systems, 12(1), 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Parsons, T. (1965). Il Sistema Sociale. Torino Edizioni: Comunità.Google Scholar
  81. Paucar-Caceres, A., & Pagano, R. (2009). Systems thinking and the use of systemic methodologies in knowledge management. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 26(3), 343–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Pentland, D., Forsyth, K., Maciver, D., Walsh, M., Murray, R., & Irvine, L. (2014). Enabling integrated knowledge acquisition and management in health care teams. Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 12(4), 362–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Polese, F., & Carrubbo, L. (2016). Eco-sistemi di servizio in Sanità. Torino: Giappichelli Editore.Google Scholar
  84. Polese, F., Carrubbo, L., & Russo, G. (2010). Managing business relationships between service culture and viable systems approach. Esperienze di Impresa, 2, 121–144.Google Scholar
  85. Polese, F., Carrubbo, L., & Di Nauta, P. (2012). Smart energy management – A viable systems approach perspective. Business Systems Review, 1(1), 202–224.Google Scholar
  86. Powell, J. (2004). An introduction to systems theory: From hard to soft systems thinking in the management of complex organizations. In D. Kernick (Ed.), Complexity and healthcare organization: A view from the street. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  87. Puche, J., Ponte, B., Costas, J., Pino, R., & De La Fuente, D. (2016). Systemic approach to supply chain management through the viable system model and the theory of constraints. Production Planning and Control, 27(5), 421–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Rabaey, M. (2013). Complex adaptive systems thinking approach for intelligence base in support of intellectual capital management. In P. Ordòñez de Pablos, T. Tennyson, & J. Zhao (Eds.), Intellectual capital strategy management for knowledge-based organizations (pp. 122–141). Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Rana, S., Crowe, M., & Usoro, A. (2013). Factors for knowledge sharing behaviour to develop trust. Professional Organisations Environment.Google Scholar
  90. Reiman, T., Rollenhagen, C., Pietikäinen, E., & Heikkilä, J. (2015). Principles of adaptive management in complex safety-critical organizations. Safety Science, 70, 80–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Senge, P. M., & Sterman, J. D. (1992). Systems thinking and organizational learning: Acting locally and thinking globally in the organization of the future. European Journal of Operational Research, 59(1), 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Sheffield, J., Sankaran, S., & Haslett, T. (2012). Systems thinking: Taming complexity in project management. On the Horizon, 20(2), 126–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Shen, H., Wang, L., Xu, Q., Li, Y., & Liu, X. (2009). Toward a framework of innovation management in logistics firms: a systems perspective. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 26(2), 297–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Sole, F., & Schiuma, G. (2010). Understanding organisational knowledge – Based value creation dynamics: A systems thinking approach. In P. Taticchi (Ed.), Business performance measurement and management new contents, themes and challenges (pp. 327–341). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  95. Spohrer, J., Vargo, S. L., Maglio, P. P., & Caswell, N. (2008). The service system is the basic abstraction of service science. In HICSS Conference (pp. 104–104).Google Scholar
  96. Sterman, J. D. (1994). Learning in and about complex systems. System Dynamics Review, 10(2/3), 291–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Tien, J. M., & Berg, D. (2003). A case for service systems engineering. Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering, 12(1), 13–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Turnbull, S. (2002). The science of corporate governance. Corporate Governance-an International Review, 10(4), 261–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Turnbull, J. E. (2002). Process management and systems thinking for patient safety. The Business of Health Care: A Journal of Innovative Management Collection. Salem, NH: Goal/QPC.Google Scholar
  100. Urze, P., & Abreu, A. (2014). System thinking to understand networked innovation. In Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises (pp. 327–335), October 2014. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  101. Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2011). It’s all B2B…and beyond: Toward a systems perspective of the market. Industrial Marketing Management, 40, 181–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2016). Institutions and axioms: an extension and update of service-dominant logic. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Vargo, S. L., Maglio, P. P., & Akaka, M. A. (2008). On value and value co-creation – A service systems and service logic perspective. European Management Journal, 26(3), 145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Von Bertalanffy, L. (1956). General system theory. In F. E. Emery (Ed.), General system. Yearbook of the Society for the Advancement of General System Theory.Google Scholar
  105. Von Bertalanffy, L. (1962). Modern theories of development. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  106. Von Foerster, H. (1981). Observing systems. Seaside: Inter Systems Publication.Google Scholar
  107. Waliullah, M., & Schell, W. J. (2013). Toward improving healthcare: A meta-analysis of leadership approaches. In International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management 2013, ASEM in St. Paul, MN.Google Scholar
  108. Weinberg, G. M. (2001). An introduction to general systems thinking. Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated; 25 Anv edition, April.Google Scholar
  109. Wendorff, P. (2002). An essential distinction of agile software development processes based on systems thinking in software engineering management. In Third International Conference on eXtreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering, Alghero, Sardinia.Google Scholar
  110. Wieland, H., Polese, F., & Vargo, S. L. (2012). Toward a service (eco)systems perspective on value creation. International Journal of Service Science, Management, Engineering and Technology, 3(3), 12–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Williams, T. (2016). Identifying success factors in construction projects: A case study. Source of the document. Project Management Journal, 47(1), 97–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Winter, M., & Checkland, P. (2003). Soft systems: A fresh perspective for project management. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Civil Engineering, 156(4), 187–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Wolf, P., Meissner, J. O., Nolan, T., Lemon, M., John, R., Baralou, E., & Seemann, S. (2011). Methods for qualitative management research in the context of social systems thinking. Historical Social Research, 36(1), 7–18.Google Scholar
  114. Woodside, A. G. (2006). Advancing systems thinking and building microworlds in business and industrial marketing. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 21(1), 24–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Xiang-yu, K., & Xiang-yang, L. (2007). A systems thinking model for innovation management: The knowledge management perspective. In The 14th International Conference on Management Science & Engineering (pp. 1499–1504). Harbin: IEEE Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Bruni
    • 1
  • Luca Carrubbo
    • 2
  • Ylenia Cavacece
    • 2
  • Debora Sarno
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics and LawUniversity of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Business Science, Management and Innovation SystemsUniversity of SalernoSalernoItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly

Personalised recommendations