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Systems thinking for the integration of management systems

This paper discusses how a systems approach to management can be used to facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated management system (IMS) in an organization. It is argued that any solution to address the rapidly growing need for the integration of function‐specific management systems requires two elements: a conceptual model and a supporting methodology. While the research on IMS modelling is fairly advanced, evidenced by a number of existing models that would probably qualify to provide the basis for integration, development of methodologies to achieve fully‐integrated systems is still lacking. This paper therefore provides a set of criteria for selection of the most appropriate IMS model, followed by a discussion of one such model based on the systems approach. The presented model can be used to integrate the requirements of existing and upcoming function‐specific management system standards, and provide a foundation for the top‐down integration of internal systems that these standards describe. Subsequently, a short discussion on the issue of the IMS methodology is given, and the paper concludes with a list of questions that will help researchers design a comprehensive IMS methodology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Business Process Management Journal Emerald Publishing
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