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MGT603: Systems Thinking Approach Applied to Walmart's Supply Chain

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 marksPart 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.

There are two (2) parts to Assessment 1. For an acceptable result, you will complete Part Aand 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)

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




Systems thinking include both the mindset that mainly focuses on how the parts of a whole are interrelated along with the set of tools that supports the organisations to examine the complexity. Groups within the organisation learn together, creating the knowledge as well as understanding towards the organisation. The present proposal will discuss the operational issues related to inventory management in the chosen company such as Walmart.

Research rationale 

The study would focus on the operational activities of the retail industry, US along with operational issue and inventory shortage affecting the operational function of an organisation. Purpose

The main purpose of this research study is to analyse the occurrence of the operational issues in Walmart which is related to inventory management.

Research Background 

According to Walmart, it has been observed that a serious slowdown in the e-commerce growth during the fourth quarter, which developed 22% compared to a 40% gain the previous year (Retail Dive, 2019). The New York Times suggested that these challenges involved warehouse stocked with seasonal items of daily products while focusing on online sales. 

Research aim 

The major aim of this research study is to evaluate the operational issues and shortage of inventory that are damaging the bottom line of the company and is also linked with inventory management.

Research objectives

The main objectives of the proposal are to:

  • To analyse the impact of operational issues arising in retail sector US
  • To analyse the impact of operational issues over inventory management of Walmart
  • To evaluate the risks and challenges facing by Walmart while managing their inventory and operational activities
  • To suggest effective factors to Walmart for improving its inventory management and operational activities

Literature review 

Inventory management is defined as one of the huge contributors to the success of the multinational retail business. As mentioned by Lam et al., (2015) determining the size of company efficient and effective inventory management is of critical significance in the operational effectiveness. In relation to the bottom line of the company, if the size of a retail business can achieve certain kinds of a financial blow from a huge lack of inventory control, determining the kind of damage it could do to the small and medium businesses (Adeniyi & Okoye, 2017). 

Research methodology 

In relation to the research philosophy, the researcher will be continuing with the positivist philosophy that is crucial in dealing with the nature, sources, and knowledge of the topic. As per the research approach, the researcher will be continuing with a deductive approach that will help in developing the relevant information in the context of the chosen research issue. Furthermore, the researcher will be a continuing descriptive design for this research study. For making the research more creative and relevant the researcher will be continuing with both primary and secondary sources of data collections. For further analysis, the researcher will target 100 respondents as the sample size.

Anticipated findings 

The analytical study would be made based on the survey and interview format that will help to collect unbiased data from the chosen respondents from the selected sample area. Further, this analytical finding would help the researcher to lead the entire study towards a conclusive end with respective recommendations. This will help the reader to use this research study as a preliminary study for related issues in the future.


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