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WEEK 1 - Lecture One

Big Blue, the winkle stall and the man who came to fix

the central

heating system

The module is about three words

1) System -

What is a system? D

Does a system do anything?

Can a system be an inanimate thing which just sits there or does

it have to do something?

Are all systems the same? - Are we talking about the same thing

with a central heating system, a computer system, system

furniture and the political system?

In our everyday life we come across a whole range of systems:

- Water supply system

- Engine management systems

- The state system of health

- Central heating system

- Business systems

2) Business

What defines a business, what does it do?

What are its main characteristics?

What is the difference between business and management and

what is the distinction between abusiness and an organisation?

3) Information

- What is information?

- Is it something about knowledge and what is the link between

information and knowledge? W

- What is the difference between data, knowledge and


There is a difference but sometimes they are not used

properly and so you do not know what you are being told about

because the terms are used wrongly.

It is a bit like being handled an apple and told that it is an

orange, when you can differentiate between data, information

and intelligence you are halfway there.

When we understand these three words then we can start to join

them together.


One of the the originators or systems thinking was von

Bertalanffy who came up with

his General Systems Theory. This theory was developed in the

1930s and 40s by a

variety of indiv...

... middle of paper ...

...ion is collected as a matter of course and this

leads to data


We need to collect data systematically to pick out the patterns.

It is no good picking

out odd bits here and there so it has to be done either for a

population or for a proper

sample. This is where statistics comes in.

When we are collecting data we need to know roughly what to

expect. Hence we can

not deal with "wrong answers" or answers that we cannot

understand and interpret.

We have a strange perception of quantities. Certain amounts we

can summarise other

we have a great deal of difficulty with.

How many people in a room.

Very small and very large numbers defeat us.

Roughly what is 130 divided into 40,1143 (3000+)

You are told that a pair of shoes cost £30,000 you know that

this cannot be correct or

that the weekly wage for a university lecturer is £
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