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Two types of Feedback Loops

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BACKGROUND

This involves analyzing Skype's feedback loops and organizational learning opportunities.
I want you to take a look at the feedback loops in Skype, Inc.

REQUIRED READING:
While most of models of organizational diagnosis that we have been exposed recognize the existence of feedback loops, none of them really offer a thorough discussion of the complexity of feedback or how it can be used to promote organizational improvement and development. To get a better view of this topic, turn to the work on systems thinking and organizational learning. Much of this literature is based on the work of Peter Senge whose seminal book The Fifth Discipline popularized the notion that organizations are capable of learning.
In all of the readings, pay particular attention to the two types of Feedback Loops: Reinforcing Feedback that causes growth and Balancing Feedback that provides stabilizing effects.
This first reading is a good overview.
Bellinger, G. (2004) Introduction to systems thinking. Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/intst/int.htm on 2/20/12.

This second reading is quite long and reviews much of the work in the area of learning organizations. Read it all if you like, but the most relevant part is part VI, which covers systems thinking:
Larsen, K., McInerney, C., Nyquist, C., Santos, A., & Silsbee, D. (1996) Learning Organizations (Part VI: Systems Thinking) Retrieved from
http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/larsenk/learnorg/index.html

ASSIGNMENT:
Identify one Balancing Loop and one Reinforcing Loop. These feedback loops should be critical to Skype's performance and success. So you should have a good idea of what these are from your previous analysis.

Explain each one of these loops - what are the causal factors and how do they affect each other. For the Reinforcing loop, you should look for an area where there is growth and for the Balancing loop, you need to look for goal behavior. Once you have identified and explained these critical feedback loops, you need to identify how Skype has generated organizational learning, AND how they can go further and generate additional organizational learning. What do they need to do to improve their performance further?

EXPECTATIONS
This is what I need your help with to compare with my analysis:
Determine the two critical feedback loops. Describe each Feedback Loop that you identify in your organization 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 effect (+ or -). Also, determine what the warrant is for your case.
Briefly discuss the theory of organizational learning so that you provide a summary of this information to the executives - establish this as common ground.

Identify the learning activities in each feedback loop that Skype has already taken.
Then 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.

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Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 1682 words with references.
//Feedback loops are critical success factors for the organizations. This paper is mainly concerned with two types of loops: balancing and reinforcing loops. It will analyze Skype's feedback loops and organizational learning opportunities. In this part of the paper, balancing loops and reinforcing loops are going to be explained. The previous one is responsible for goal behaviors while the latter is for growth.//

Balancing loop is responsible for taking an organization from its current state to a desired state. This is done by carrying out a series of actions to achieve the set of goals or objectives in an organization. It thus represents those situations in an organization where actions are taken to achieve the defined goals or objectives of the organization. These loops are marked with the letter 'B'. In case of more than one balancing loop another number is added as "B1" and "B2" (Duffy).

The balancing loop causes constancy in the organization and has a self correction program for maintaining some goal or target. It often referred to as a goal seeking system and it has an intended goal. Balancing loops are negative loops. They sometimes keep a system at a desired state. They generate actions, which are aimed at moving the system forward or holding it at a desired state. These feedback processes can at times destabilize the system by stimulating them to oscillate (Bellinger, 2004).

Reinforcing loop causes either growth or decline in an organization. It causes growth in an organization at a faster pace. It makes the future rise and fall more probable in an organization. In this loop feedback of one variable increases the impact of a change. Earlier the growth remains slow at rate but afterwards speeds up. This type of growth in an organization is known as exponential growth.

This loop is sometimes also referred to as a vicious circle which is contingent upon the nature of change. Reinforcing loops are marked with the letter 'R'. In case of more than one reinforcing loops, another number is added, which is referred as "R1" and "R2" (Duffy). These are positive loops which have a self reinforcing process, where the result created by a certain action renders more of the action and therefore, more of the result. Generally positive feedback loops destabilize the system and induce them to run away from their current position.

//In the above section both the loops are explained. In the following part of the paper, the casual factors of balancing and reinforcing loops will be explained. It will also discuss the importance of these factors in Skype. //

Balancing loop: In balancing loops from time to time one or more odd factors work in opposite direction to the other factors. These are denoted by minus sign. These loops in Skype function in the direction of either an explicit or implied aim. In this loop, the level of control is impelled by two things, first is the action, which is in relation with the gap between the current system status and goal. The second is the delay between the requirement for action and change in the system (Davies & Davis, 2011).

Reinforcing loop: ...

Solution Summary

The response addresses the queries posted in 1682 words with references.

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