Learning Unit 1 A Systems Approach to Interpersonal Communication…
Learning Unit 1
A Systems Approach to Interpersonal Communication
Every system consists of objects or parts that are connected
Holism means 'the whole/entire system is more than the sum of its parts'
A dyad can only be understood if we study it as a whole, not in parts
No two relationships are ever the same as both individuals are unique
The system exists because of the interaction between its parts, a a change in the system part will cause a a change in other parts of the system
System parts are independent
Developed from diverse study fields and can be applied to different aspects of life
Including Interpersonal communication and relationships
Relationships cannot be formed/maintained without communication- it is an ongoing process
All systems operate according to certain basic principles
How the parts are arranged in terms of one another in a system
eg. Employee and employee
The employer has a higher status in the relationship
Linked to the structure
Each system part fulfills certain functions
eg. An employers function is to give employees instructions on work to do, and provide assistance on how to complete them, etc
eg. The employees function is to thus clarify the instructions and then complete his work
If any function has not been fulfilled, it will affect the other person and the dyadic system
Evolution means 'change over time'
Evolution is a result of changes in the systems structure or functions
eg. A relationship is quite different from what it was in the beginning
A relationship will develop more trust and work experience, etc
Evolution can occur due to external influences on the system
eg. An employer/employee relationship may become more pleasant as a result of being more collaborative than in the past
All systems exist within an environment and are affected by their surroundings
Openness relates to the degree of a system's interaction with its environment
The more open a system is, the more information the system receives and adjusts to changes in its environment
Open systems are more likely to thrive and be a success than closed systems which often disintegrate
Interpersonal relationships are usually open relationships that are continually influenced by their environments
Systems are embedded- 'To fit entirely within something else'
Systems have different levels
A large system is called a 'suprasystem'
'supra' means above or exceeding
A small system is called a 'subsystem'
'sub' means below
A system can thus be classified as a system, subsystem or suprasystem
(Looking at a work department)- The dyad within would be the subsystem and the organisation would be the suprasystem
Entropy and Equilibrium
Entropy refers to the tendency of most systems to become disorganised/disintegrate over time
Relationships disintegrate if they are neglected, therefore we need to maintain them through effective communication
Order out of chaos is known as 'negative entropy'
We strive to have balance in a system (equilibrium)