System Thinking and Action Research

Topics: Sociology, Research, Public health Pages: 9 (2891 words) Published: November 29, 2012
System Theory and Action Research
Susan M Ross
Dr. Tyler Zerwekh
September 15, 2012

Public health practices and policies are largely influenced by the population involved and seek to improve the overall health of the public. Achieving success in systems thinking requires making strategic decisions about what processes will best achieve the public health goals. Systems Theory Information Technology Systems Theory evaluates the relationship between information systems, and information technology, and people. Action Research is used in the field of public health to alleviate adverse conditions in communities by addressing the determinants of health, community-wide interventions, and health promotion. Examples of Action Research evaluate the computer usage and health information technology and health collaboration groups as well as promotion of information health management techniques.

An emphasis on relationship is the heart of systems orientation. Systems thinking involving humans require an understanding of the nature of the system and its dynamics requires and an understanding of the people involved and the interaction with each other in the applicable network of the system. Action Research is a participatory, democratic process concerned with developing practical knowledge in the pursuit of worthwhile human purposes, theory and practice, in participation with others in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people, and more generally the flourishing of individual persons and communities. (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). This paper will present a demonstration of a thorough analysis of a systems theory, action research, and an action research proposal to analyze the theory in relation to Caucasian socio-economic group. Systems Theory

Fundamental systems-thinking perspectives and approaches that are shared across different fields are: (1) increased attention to how new knowledge is gained, managed, exchanged, interpreted, integrated, and disseminated; (2) emphasis on a network-centric approach that encourages relationship-building among and between individuals and organizations across traditional disciplines and fields in order to achieve relevant goals and objectives; (3) the development of models and projections, using a variety of analytic approaches in order to improve strategic decision making; and (4) systems organizing in order to foster improvements in organizational structures and functions (Leischow,, 2008). Achieving success in systems thinking requires making strategic decisions about what processes will best achieve the public health goals for the designated population and how new discoveries can be disseminated effectively, and what structures and functions are needed to deliver the new knowledge. Effective knowledge flow results in better network performance, which allow for the achievement of systems-level change. Systems organizing have evolved from traditional management theory to a learning organizational theory, or an adaptive-systems perspective within other systems environments. Information Technology Systems Theory

Information Systems (IS) theory is defined as concepts that speculate on social and technical relationships between Information Technology, Information Systems and social outcomes. Much IS theory originated in other disciplines and has been refined or applied to examine IT/IS issues. IS theory would also be classified as to include the technology acceptance model (TAM) and structuration theory and IT productivity models as applied to IS/IT phenomena (Chiasson, Davidson,2004) . Over the past years public health systems have evolved significantly. As personal computers became more powerful and operating systems became more usable with the advent of Microsoft Windows, Computer information systems were updated to make use of more modern features, capabilities and software. Public health agencies began to recognize that information...
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