Mapping a Business System

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“Mapping a Business System”

Jennifer Ortega

Kaplan University

Application of Causal Loop Diagram: Reinforcing and Balancing Process

There are many advantages to an organization or individual to utlize system diagrams in

all aspects of business. According to the book, “The Tip of the Iceberg” by Hutchens, there are

two basic processes that drive all activity in systems. They are reinforcing processes and

balancing processes. (Hutchens 2001). Hutchens states that “reinforcing processes enhance

change with even more change in the same direction. Hutchens also states that these processes

can produce exponential growth as well as collapse. There needs to be a balance to keep a system

at a certain level of performance. (Hutchens 2001). It’s extremely important to always have a

“checks and balances” system in place based on what Hutchens is stating.

Purpose of the Causal Loop System

As stated on the Mind Tools website, “System diagrams are particularly helpful in

showing you how a change in one factor may impact elsewhere. They are excellent tools for

flushing out the long term impacts of a change. Importantly, a good system diagram will show

how changing a factor may feed back to affect itself!” (2011). The Mind Tools website also

states that ,“Drawing a system diagram is a good way of starting to build a computer model. The

technique helps you to map out the structure of the system to be modeled. It shows the factors

and relationships that are important, and helps you to start quantifying the linkages between

factors.” (, 2011)

Components of the Causal Loop System

As Hutchens states there are four main components of a causal loop diagram. The four

parts are: a point of intersection that can contain values that can change, lines with an arrow

showing influence direction, and time delay indicator. (Hutchens, 2001) Plagiarism is taken very seriously at Kaplan University. When students use the ideas or words from someone else and do not give that source credit, they are plagiarizing (Kaplan University Writing Center, 2006). Many instructors at Kaplan explain that they often encounter students who do not even realize they are plagiarizing (Alan Gousie, personal communication, August 15, 2006). This is still not acceptable. All Kaplan students are responsible for fully understanding APA requirements, including how to cite sources correctly, both in the text of the paper and at the end in the final reference section. According to Turn it In (n.d.), a popular web resource used by teachers to identify cases of plagiarism, “most cases of plagiarism can be avoided [...] by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism” (para. 3). Consequently, Turn it In is used by all KU instructors to determine the percentage and origination of borrowed material. This tool allows them to see if students are giving credit to outside sources and if it is being done according to APA standards. Finally, students should always get in the habit of including their sources as the paper is written. Forgetting where certain information came from is not an excuse for failure to cite a source (Sorsby, 1996). The general guidelines for formatting an APA paper include one-inch margins on all sides and double spacing throughout. The font size should be 10 or 12-point, and it should be in a style that is commonly used and readable (e.g. Times, Times New Roman or Arial). The first line of each paragraph need to be indented five spaces or tabbed once, and the title and reference pages should be separate from the body. Additionally, there should be a header on each page that includes an abbreviated title of the essay and the page number. Many software programs have tools available for writing that...
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