Faculty of Business and Economics

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Business and Economics
Organisational UnitDepartment of Management
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Mr Rod Sarah


This unit combines a broad introduction to the field of 'systems thinking' with a range of systems tools and methods to help students and managers understand and deal with complex systems such as modern organisations or the global climate system. Focusing on a 'new' way of thinking about complex system problems, systems thinking is widely considered essential in understanding and effectively managing contemporary complex organisations as well as complex social and natural system problems such as poverty, environmental degradation, or climate change. The unit is presented both as a set of thinking skills and practical skills that enable policy makers, business managers and public servants to act more effectively and responsibly within their organisations and a complex world.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. describe and contrast Systems Thinking with more traditional approaches, as a generic set of 'new' thinking skills for understanding and dealing with a range of complex systems from modern organisations to the global climate system
  2. develop awareness and understanding of a range of the essential principles, tools and methods of systems thinking
  3. apply the systems thinking tools and methods to generate insights and learning about complex organisations and social/natural systems
  4. communicate systemic insights using the tools and methods of systems thinking.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Examination: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)