MGMT 8007M:Week 5: Systems Archetypes Essay Assignment Paper

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MGMT 8007M:Week 5: Systems Archetypes Essay Assignment Paper

MGMT 8007M: Complexity and Applied Systems Thinking | Week 5

Archetypes are accessible tools with which managers can quickly construct credible and consistent hypotheses about the governing forces of their systems.

—Senge et al. (1994)

Many times, we are asked by our companies to produce more innovative products in less time. Companies vie to be at the forefront of their industry, whether it is for the latest electronic product or the newest idea to make a social impact. According to Sterman (2000), no matter the type of company, there has to be a time for organizational learning. By becoming a learning organization, do you believe organizational leadership and management can stop this cycle that Sterman presents? Why or why not?

This week, you explore the learning disciplines while maintaining a holistic overview of systems thinking. Next, you will focus on how they can be used to improve organizational learning and then proceed to analyze mental models in more detail to understand how they may influence learning. Finally, you provide a recommendation of the use of learning disciplines within your Final Project organization.

Learning Objectives

This week, you will:

  • Analyze archetypes found in organizations


You will develop the following skills:

  • Systems thinking
  • Identify archetypes/patterns

Learning Resources

Recommended Readings

Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday.

  • Chapter 5, “A Shift of Mind” (pp. 68–91)
  • Chapter 6, “Nature’s Templates: Identifying the Patterns That Control Events” (pp. 92–112)
  • Appendix 2, “Systems Archetypes” (pp. 389–400)

MGMT 8007M:Week 5: Systems Archetypes Essay Assignment Paper

Senge, Ross, Smith, Roberts, and Kleiner (1994) noted: “At its broadest level, systems thinking encompasses a large and fairly amorphous body of methods, tools, and principles, all oriented to looking at the interrelatedness of forces, and seeing them as part of a common process” (p. 89).

Systems archetypes are observed in all types of systems, including organizations. Understanding systems archetypes in organizations may be helpful in intervening or taking corrective action. For example, the escalation archetype helps one to understand conflict or competition in all sorts of social systems, such as the U.S. Congress, educational institutions, corporations, and even families. Interventions, or even the avoidance of problems, are found in the study of the structure of systems archetypes, which contribute to leadership or management applications. The key idea about these archetypes is that they are found in all kinds of systems, not just social systems. As we learn about these archetypes, we find that we can use them separately and in combination to develop more advanced models of our organizations and the industries in which they operate.

Figure 2 contains a list of some of the more frequently used archetypes.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the resources and select an organization with which you are familiar. Consider one archetype within that organization and the challenges that it may present. Think of this Discussion as a classroom presentation, wherein you post your ideas and respond to questions.

By Day 3

Initial Post

Post an analysis of an archetype and related behaviors in your selected organization, along with related challenges and a proposed solution to address them.

Be sure to review the Objectives listed for this week and refer to the Discussion Rubric as guidance for the criteria that will be used to assess your participation in this Discussion.


  • Include an explanation of the archetype you selected and how you were able to recognize this archetype.
  • Then, discuss the challenges this archetype presents to the organization.
  • Finally, propose an intervention that you, as a leader or manager, might use to address those challenges.

By Day 5

Responses to your Colleagues

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts by offering an additional suggestion for how they might use their chosen archetype to make appropriate decisions as a leader or manager.

Note: Include proper APA citations to support all statements by referencing sources from relevant peer-reviewed articles published within the last 5 years.


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