Edited by Keith Townsend, Kenneth Cafferkey, Aoife M. McDermott and Tony Dundon
Chapter 8: Systems theory: forgotten legacy and future prospects
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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