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Industrial Services of America- Feedback loops

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In this assignment, you will take a look at feedback loops in Industrial Service Industries of America, Inc. Identify one Balancing Loop and one Reinforcing Loop. Draw on the background readings in constructing your diagnosis. Within each of these feedback loops there are opportunities for learning and improvement.


You need to present two cases in this paper. For each Feedback Loop (Balancing and Reinforcing) Make a Case for the Learning Opportunities.
Be sure to include references. Turn in a 5-6 page paper.


This is what you need to do:

1. Generate evidence for the grounds of your cases. Describe each Feedback Loop that you identify in Industrial Services of America, Inc. and explain why you selected them. Make sure you explain the Loop, the cause and effect process within the Loop. You could also include a Causal Loop Diagram. If you do, show the arrows and direction of affect (+ or -). Also, determine what the warrant is for your case.
2. Briefly discuss the theory of organizational learning (the warrant and additional grounds.)
3. Identify the opportunities for organizational learning in each Feedback Loop. Make a Case that these are learning opportunities. Logically show how the feedback process provides an opportunity for the organization to learn and improve its performance. Be precise. Depth and breadth in your discussion is always a good thing.


Bellinger, G. (2004) Introduction to systems thinking. http://www.systems-thinking.org/intst/int.htm

Larsen, K., McInerney, C., Nyquist, C., Santos, A., & Silsbee, D. (1996) Learning Organizations (Part VI: Systems Thinking) http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/larsenk/learnorg/index.html (The most relevant part is part VI for this assignment)

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7 pages. APA format with references.

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Organizational Learning Theory

Focused on the primacy of the whole, systems thinking attempts to add an additional dimension to typical problem solving methods. Traditional methods of problem solving revolve around the scientific method breaking a complex whole down to constituent pieces in order to understand the linear progression of the process. This two dimensional method builds an overly simplistic model of most reality. Instead, a three-dimensional model should be built using circular causality where a variable is both the cause and effect of another [variable], (Larsen, McInerney, Nyquist, Santos, & Silsbee, 1996). The notion of assessing an organization or system as a whole is daunting, but the methodic nature of the scientific method need not be abandoned completely. Only in realizing the added dimension of circular causality is required to more accurately conceptualize a realistic organization.

Take a typical two-dimensional representation of a purchasing and supply management process. Visually depicted, it might look something like this:

[See attachment for figure]

With suppliers and production entities providing input to the purchasing authority, the purchasing manager reaches a decision, and the transaction is completed. This doesnâ??t capture the reality of the system, however.

Feedback Loops

The reality of such a system above is intuitively more complicated than the linear depiction shows. In the pursuit of greater understanding of such systems, people are forced to fragment the system to take snapshots of events to study, (Larsen, McInerney, Nyquist, Santos, & Silsbee, 1996). Like a snapshot, each event is only accurate for a moment in time; it is an imperfect, two dimensional model of reality. With the addition of a third dimension in this case, time movies are a far better representation of reality. Thus systems thinking attempts to add this third dimension to the above system:

[See attachment for figure]

This depiction represents a reinforcing-type feedback loop in the purchasing the supply system. Production requirements add information to Supplier Availability. This output adds information to make a purchasing decision, which ultimately affects the production requirements which again affect the output of the supplier. There are two types of these feedback loops: a balancing loop and a ...

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