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Brian Harney

This chapter presents an overview of systems theory before tracing its historical antecedents and key domain assumptions. The chapter reviews some valuable applications of systems thinking in employment relations and HRM before evaluating limitations and future prospects. Overall, the chapter surfaces the long-standing tensions between the intuitive appeal of systems logic and difficulty surrounding its application. The chapter concludes that despite these challenges, the changing nature of work and fracturing of work boundaries provide a strong mandate for a systems theory renaissance in HRM and employment relations.

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Brian Harney

‘Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophical thought has done its best, the wonder remains.’ (Alfred North Whitehead) I wish I had read the above quote earlier in my PhD journey, or, more truthfully, I wish I had understood what it meant a little bit earlier. For many students, the philosophy section of the PhD is one that causes extreme anxiety and a sense of mass confusion. Philosophy is grounded on the big questions of the universe, demanding big answers. When confronted with the philosophical greats and grand ideas like extreme logic (Auguste Comte), black swans (Karl Popper) or those founded on a more fluid disposition (Foucault), it is natural to feel inept, inadequate and frankly quite useless. The other thing one quickly learns about philosophers is that, while they may be beautiful writers, the dense nature of their work does not make for easy reading.

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney

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Brian Harney and John Trehy

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Brian Harney and Tony Dundon

Amazon is one of the world’s most recognised organisations. It was the first to leverage on-line platforms for selling and distribution, making its first book sale on-line in 1995 before diversifying into CD, DVDs and electronics and ultimately becoming the ‘everything store’. As Google is to internet search, Amazon is to e-commerce, practically inventing this category of shopping. Amazon’s overriding goal is ‘to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything online’.