‘Hard’ and ‘soft’ systems

Classical systems theory often considers a company to be a ‘hard’ closed system, whereas contemporary systems theory often considers a company to be a ‘soft’ open system.

Required

Define the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ systems.

With the aid of diagrams, comment on and discuss the difference between these two theoretical approaches and their implications on designing computer-based accounting information systems.

Read the following extract:

Sociological systems theory contributed a profound understanding of the nature and role of organizational sub-systems in meeting organizational needs. . . . The inspiration came in the form of a rigorous working out of the idea that organisms – and other types of complex systems – were ‘open systems’ (Jackson, 1991: 48).

Required

Explain, with the aid of a diagram, the relevance to an understanding of the accounting information system of ‘open systems’.

Solution:

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