Systems Theory/Transformation Processes
Transformation processes can be described as some change in behavior which is intended to alter the desired outcome. Individuals can go through a transformation process that deals with their intellect as well as their overall persona. Organizations can also go through transformation processes. Usually, organizations will have a change in goal or organizational mission that will trigger for a transformation process to occur, whether it is to have a major down-sizing or to implement new policies and procedures that directly affect the collective behavior of the organization as a whole. The research involving transformation processes to date explore different models to use for the most efficient processes to take place. For instance, Creative Dimensions in Management (CDM), a consulting firm, presented corporate transformation processes based on one-on-one mentoring to a succession of UK banking organizations in the late 80s and 90s. Models drawn from Comprehensive Family Therapy and Progressive Abreactive Regression (PAR) tries to predict a persons attempt to significantly change their performance, they are likely to follow a zig-zag path to growth, alternatively progressing and regressing as in the following diagram:
Concluding the study by CDM suggested that, “The key to managing these regressions lies in increased self-awareness. As the growth goal increases, awareness and self-consciousness must deepen in order to manage the regressive trends that occur. These trends include moving beyond one's illusions about oneself and one's potential; moving beyond the defenses that protect the self from the anxieties of growth; examining and resolving the ambivalence that prevents a total commitment to achieving one's vision; embracing fears and terrors associated with failure and success including shame and abandonment; and, ultimately, discovering one's will - an energy source that can fuel the activation and achievement of any vision.”
Another realm often researched is socio-ecological systems which are often described by society-environment relations which are relevant for sustainable development within a certain problem area. Problem areas may be the supply of human needs, economic sectors, geographic regions etc. Energy, substance flows, technical structures, institutions, and ideas influence the transformation process that is involved in these socio-ecological systems. It is also discovered that this type of system is continuously undergoing transformations due to its underlined nature. The following chart depicts the study of this system and how it relates to transformation processes: File:Graph2.jpg Further research of this realm suggests, “The challenge of sustainable transformation is to understand the complex interactions which underlie the dynamics of structural change, to assess and evaluate the impacts of specific paths of transformation, and to shape transformation processes in order bring about desired outcomes “
3 specific features of Sustainable Transformation:
- 1. Uncertainty about system behavior, because of non-predictability of complex interactions underlying transformation processes.
- 2. Divergent social goals and differing evaluations of the impact of transformation, with social values being endogenous to the transformation process.
- 3. Distribution of control capacities among a broad range of social actors with specific interests and resources to influence transformation paths.