MGT603: Systems Thinking And Its Application To Issues Of National Australia Bank Assessment Answer

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Question :

Subject Code and Title
MGT603: Systems Thinking
Part A: Proposal Individual (500 words)
Part B : Critique Individual (250 words)
Part A: One original post (500 words)
Part B: Critique (250 words per follow up post)
Learning Outcomes
a) Critically evaluate the paradigms of Systems Thinking conceptualisation and its application to contemporary business issues
Part A: 20%
Part B: 20%
Total Marks
Part A: 20 marks
Part B: 20 marks


Systems Thinking requires you to take a holistic view of the world we live in and the organisations we work with. This assessment has been prescribed to appraise students’ ability to think holistically and generate discussion around recognising and understanding organisational operations using a Systems Thinking lens. The assessment will broaden your knowledge of and appreciation for using a different approach to look for and solve problems faced by managers in contemporary organisations.

This assessment has been designed to

  • Appraise your ability to academically research and evaluate paradigms of Systems Thinking conceptualisation and apply to contemporary business issues.
  • You are expected to utilise the literature provided in Modules 1 to 3.1 in your analysis and discussion, and are required to apply critical thinking, presenting multi-sided findings.
  • Successful completion of this assessment will help you to further understand Systems Thinking in a practical context. It will also help you to maintain currency in the increasingly changing industry.


There are two (2) parts to Assessment 1. For an acceptable result, you will complete Part A and Part B of the Assessment. Using the Assessment 1 Discussion Forum provided, students are required to

Part A: Proposal Individual (500 words)


Identify a local or global organisation that is currently facing significant issues and critically analyse how a Systems Thinking approach can assist in making optimal decisions. For example:

  • You are working as operations manager in a company of your choice. This company has been in business for almost 10 years and is now being confronted with many operational issues related to inventory management. Sometimes there is excess stock and other times shortage of the inventory that are hearting the bottom line performance of the company. In addition to that new competitors and demand from customers to deliver faster and cheaper require organization a different approach rather than just solving the inventory problems. Or
  • You are working in XYZ bank in your home country that has been struggling with significant loss of customers to competitors. To overcome the problem, the bank has introduced an incentive system for its employees to bring in new customers.

Once you have chosen your organisation and connected issue you are then required to prepare and post in the Assessment 1 Discussion Forum at least one (1) original post identifying intended or unintended consequences on various stakeholders of their chosen organisation and then recommend/propose alternative policies/procedures using Systems Thinking approach to help overcome the problem. Key points to consider in your initial post:

  • Your proposal should be holistic
  • You must include reference to Systems Thinking literature
  • Consider using Systems Thinking tools such as Rich Picture and CATWOE etc.

Students are also required to provide a brief rationale of why it is important to use Systems Thinking and relevant tools and techniques to solve the identified organisational problem to minimise adverse consequences.

Please ensure your original posts are in the discussion forum by the end of Module 2 (week 4)


It is essential that you use appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research. Please see more information on referencing here

Part B: Critique Individual (250 words)


Each student is required to critique an original post (Part A) of two (2) peers. Your Critique should include commentary on

  • Whether the original post is holistic. Please identify missing components, if any, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Have all plausible consequences been identified?
  • Have Systems Thinking tools been used and used properly? Please provide a critique on these tools and there use in solving the problem identified.

Please ensure your critique posts are in the discussion forum by the end of Module 3 (week 5)


It is essential that you use appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research. 

Student must actively seek feedback and inputs from peers and facilitator. The individual student should organise discussion notes and upload it on the Blackboard accordingly.

Please note the following additional information

  • This assessment is designed to create robust discussion around Systems Thinking with your peers. Please feel free to post more than what is specified to broaden your understanding and appreciation of the topic
  • While presenting your views, you are required to support claims either with the relevant experience or with the published literature. This includes journal articles, relevant website links, news article, magazines or text from related books.
  • The views could be supporting comments or they may be a contradiction, but you need to provide appropriate justification as specified above.
  • If referring to published literature to support stated views, you are required to provide relevant reference (and citation) in the response. If you can provide appropriate articles to support opinion, it will be valued considerably.
  • Along with actively participating in the discussions, it is equally important to provide responses, which are relevant and add value to the discussion. The quality of response will be considered as one of the most important criteria for evaluating students in Assessment 1, Part B.

Submission Instructions:

Submit Part A) – Proposal, Individual (500 words) via the Assessment 1 Discussion Forum link in the Assessment section found in the main navigation menu of the subject Blackboard site.

Submit Part B) - Critique, Individual (250 words) via Assessment 1 Discussion Forum link in the Assessment section found in the main navigation menu of the subject Blackboard site.

The Learning Facilitator will provide feedback via the Grade Centre in the LMS portal. Feedback can be viewed in My Grades.

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Answer :

Subject Code and Title: MGT603- Systems Thinking

Assessment Part A: Proposal Individual 

Identified issue

Over 300 staffs have been fired from National Australia Bank (NAB) over the reports of ethical misconduct and wrongdoings. The CEO of the bank admitted that there were reports misconduct across the sector, which is the picture of greed-driven banking culture practised in the organisations. Earlier Andrew Thorburn (CEO of NAB) opposed commission of inquiry however admitted to being ashamed of that decision as clearly NAB’s staffs were not adhering to the bank’s code of conduct (Reuters, 2019). 

Impact on stakeholders

The major consequences were faced by executive levels and NAB’s wealth management arm. Allegations suggested that NAB has charged hundreds and thousands for services to their clients that were never delivered. Many employees and executives were fired and still under investigations. The governing board of the bank is now arranging hundreds of millions of dollars for refunds, compliance changes and legal costs for various charges of misconduct brought up against the management and the staffs. The shareholders are affected by financial losses as the share prices dropped by 0.3 per cent. The clients are affected by the loss of services, loss of savings and harm of the bank’s reputation as a result of this public scandal (Reuters, 2019). Most of the stakeholders are affected negatively as a result of employee misconduct resulting in huge losses for the bank (Richardson& Garner, 2019). 

Recommended policy/ procedure using System Thinking Tool

According to Iqbal, Khan, Bashir & Senin (2015), system thinking is an analysis approach of interrelating parts of a system in the context of a larger system. According to Batra, Kaushik & Kalia (2010), the importance of system thinking lies in its ability to solve complex problem. However, Wang, Liu & Mingers (2015) argued that system thinking is not only about problem solving in general means, but to innovate solutions in many ways to solve complex problems.  

CATWOE: In order to recommend alternate policy or procedure as a solution, the in-depth understanding of the issue in hand is necessary for which CATWOE analysis has been chosen. The merit of this system thinking tool is that it analyses the issue from six different perspectives in order to produce a viable solution (Wang, Liu,&Mingers, 2015). This also forms the rationale for choosing this tool for analysing this issue. The following CATWOE diagram analyses the issue of wrongdoing by staffs at NAB.  

CATWOE analysis of NAB Staff Wrongdoing Issues

Figure 1: CATWOE analysis of NAB Staff Wrongdoing Issues

Source: Created by author

The six perspectives in reference to the issue are detailed below. These are 

  1. World view: Effects are long term and wide-reaching 
  2. Owner: CEO of NAB
  3. Environmental Constraints: Economy and legal constraints 
  4. Customers: charged for services but never provided with the desired services
  5. Actors: Employees, Executives 
  6. Transformation process: Affected process are banking, service delivery 
  7. A holistic approach: Refreshing the employee code of conduct outlining consequences for non-adherence. 

The outcome of the CATWOE analysis suggests that the identified problem at NAB which is wrongdoing by employees had obvious results of employee turnover, the owner of the problem are CEO and he is responsible for implementing new policies and procedures for managing employee conduct at NAB. The holistic approach suggests a solution for developing new sets of organisational policies determining desired ethical conduct by employees while outlining the consequences of non-adherence to these policies. These policies should be communicated organisation-wide in order to improve internal functions. The perceived outcome of such a step is that employees are likely to engage in greed culture and cheat clients. The bank will be likely to improve its reputation and set an example of proper corporate governance.