System Feedback Loops  Nutrisystem Incorporation

An organization’s feedback basically refers to the set-up upon which undertakings, happenings or output from precedent events produce information that needs to be taken back into the system for proper synthesis. Such feedbacks tend to greatly influence the future occurrences of similar actions which created a continuation, generated feedback or even developed the same form of phenomenon experienced in the present or future periods. This depicts the characteristic of various business and organizational systems which structure events that seem to be part and parcel of the networked chain typically comprising of the cause and effect that form circuits or loops.

Such amassing events are seen to positively or negatively feedback into themselves (Bellinger, 2004). Feedback is therefore a component of most organizational and business systems that ideally shape the organizations performances. However, systems are regarded as sets of interrelated parts or components which function like a single unit so as to accomplish common goals and objectives.

Nearly all organizations yearn to advance their performances and this requires the management to effectively utilize feedbacks when making any indispensable adjustments.

Feedbacks have been largely portrayed as workplace motivators for most employees since the reception of either negative or positive feedbacks educe diverse actions (Bellinger, 2004). In fact, feedback assists the management to make decisions on how it should be applied to the organization’s tasks. The response reception and its viable integration in all business undertakings is considered essential for an organization’s success, and as such, employees from an organization ought to learn to understand and accept various types of feedbacks.

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Thus, the ensuing feedbacks need to be analyzed and applied in an optimistic manner in an attempt to positively impact on a company’s future decision making.

Quality management establishment in any organization requires a more comprehensive and clear understanding of the business dynamics that immensely determine the performance of an organization amidst shaping its operations. According to Yeung (1999) assertions, a profound understanding and proper analysis of the business dynamics as well as the performance levels help the management to identify the various bottlenecks which slow down the performance enhancement and equally lower efficiency. In essence, the identification of the actual hindrances to better performances facilitate the instigation of the deemed appropriate measures that ought to address the hindrances root causes rather than the practically observed signs of an organization’s dismal performance, and this consequently improves the performance levels.

The pragmatic signs and symptoms in any organization that depicts under performance in addition to those that are effectively communicated to the management make up the feedback. Nevertheless, there exist several methods that are applicable when analyzing an organization’s business performance and dynamics. The widely embraced and functional organization diagnosis methods include Leavitt’s model, Weisbord six box model and the Nadler Tushman congruence model, just to state but a handful. Basically, each of these models integrates some feedback aspects that are used to obtain responses from different sectors that are connected to the business in order to set off positive restructuring within the organization’s businesses. Besides, the models can be used to identify any shortcomings and assist in initiating the requisite remedial measures needed to correct the emanating setbacks (Wyman, 2003). In this paper, NutrisystemInc feedback loops will be identified and critically explored to divulge the type of feedback they create and reveal the way they function.

From Nadler Tushman congruence model, the three components which make up the interactive relations in NutrisystemInc’s system are the outputs namely the company’s overall performance, individual activities and group activities; inputs including environment, the organization’s history and resources; and the transformational processes such as inter relational assessments and evaluation (Wyman, 2003). This company’s inputs are generated from both the external and internal environment and they are thereafter synthesized to generate the enviable outputs which consist of steps that are to be implemented.

From NutrisystemInc, the eminent feedback loops radiates from the input and output sections and they involve both the transformational processes and the management analysis with respect to the initiation of action and decision making. The first feedback-loop joins the inputs to two other essential components in the model while the second feedback loop joins the outputs to two additional components of the system (Wyman, 2003). The first feedback-loop of NutrisystemInc inputs comprise of a set of variables that are at the company’s disposal and they can actually be used to shape NTRI’s performance and activities. The inputs consist of the resources, NTRI history and environment. The three components create balancing feedback loops that the company uses to make decisions within its transformational processes so as to produce the most suitable outputs that would augment NutrisystemInc’s performance. Taking the environment as an example, it consists of businesses of similar nature that operates in the same area, the general population, political, social and economic constraints along with consumers commodities offered within NTRI’s immediate locality.

The feedbacks are specifically from the suppliers, customers, the competitors as well as the governmental regulatory agencies. The feedbacks in NTRI’s loops can be illustrated through the competitors’ actions geared towards lowering the products prices. This type of feedback emanating from the environmental input portion would be received by the NTRI’s management and will be utilized in the transformation system to establish the prices that needs to be implemented on the outputs or produced products. In this case, the output is greatly affected by the feedback ensuing from the environment. Conversely, when the regulatory agencies sets up control measures such as prohibiting the production of some weight loss products or bans certain packaging wrappers, the response will be received as a feedback from environmental input aspect, and it will in turn affect how NTRI package the products and consequently the outputs.

The outputs elements in the second feedback loop also dubbed as reinforcing loop are the main feedback generators. In fact the response is relayed into the company’s system so that it is applied in the NTRI’s transformational processes. The output comprises of the company’s overall performance in addition to what the business produces. The entire company’s system is mostly evaluated on the basis of the products and services generated alongside the performance of individual employees and tasks units found within NutrisystemInc. Outputs are measured in terms of revenue gains, shareholder returns, profits or market share. A decline in the market share and profits represents a form of feedback which may be generated from the system’s output section. This kind of feedback found within the second-loop will eventually be received by NTRI’s management. Therefore, it will be used in the company’s transformational processes to instigate suitable counteractive actions that will guarantee better performance which will in turn expand the company’s market share and increase its profitability (Thomson Reuters, 2011). See appendices for a Causal Loop Diagram

Organizational learning is widely considered as a study field in the organizational theory that addresses various models and theories of how an organization typically adapts after critically learning from their respective operational environment. Basically, learning is an essential part of an acclimatized business organization. Therefore, in accordance with this theory, any business organization is presumed to sense the changes that occur and consequently detect signals surrounding their operational milieu and then act accordingly to aptly adapt to the ever changing environment (Larsen et al., 1999). The accruing signals and changes could possibly originate either internally or externally. However, the organizational development specialists seem to assist their customers to learn through familiarity and experience so that they stand a chance of using whatever information they acquire via the learning process as feedbacks to amicably develop some suitable transformational measures which eventually enhance their better performance.

The organizational learning may equally consist of the individuals learning processes within the organizations. In most cases, the individual learning process tend to fall within the human resources domain that appear to perform activities related to the augmentation of employees skills, work experience, staff training and formal education. The sensation of a business organization is thus based on the knowledge and expertise of its employees, and hence individual learning must be encouraged as a way of improving the organizational performance. Various models have been designed to assist organizations instigate their organizational learning, and they include Kim (1993), Bontis and Serenko (2009b), Argyris and Schon (1978) as well as Bontis and Serenko (2009a). The organizational learning theory is well illustrated in the way through which a feedback loop works (Yeung, 1999).

From the first feedback-loop where the response is created from NutrisystemIncorporation inputs, the company has been capable of learning and responding from the weight loss products market demands and customers reaction. In contrast, the second feedback loop helps NTRI to learn from the ensuing market expansion opportunities, price setting trends and product differentiation which may create both negative and positive feedbacks.

Nutrisystem Incorporation (NTRI) is a freely traded company commonly listed in the NASDAQ. It forms the basis of an organization being studied in this case. NTRI offers different weight management commodities mainly in Canada and United States. The weight management programs are counseling, pre-packed food programs and online tools. Monthly food packages which entails a twenty eight-day supply of desserts, lunches, dinners and breakfast that perfectly supplement the customers with dairy, vegetables, fresh fruit, low carbohydrate glycemic items and salad are also provided (Thomson Reuters, 2011). NTRI directly sells its pre-packed foods to weight loss plan participants via internet, telephone and a television shopping system dubbed QVC. The detailed issues that transpire in NutriSystem, Inc are discussed below.

Warrant:since there are two feedback loops at NutrisystemInc, the feedback loops will be identified and critically explored to divulge the type of response they create, the learning opportunities and reveal the way they function.

Claim: the organizational learning opportunities and responses mainly accrue from the reinforcing feedback loop-second loop and the balancing loop-first feedback loop.

Grounds: The customers in the weight loss products savvy markets desire quality, customers’ product orientation, properly tendered services, multi substitutable and low priced products. NutrisystemInc has been able to affably learn from these kinds of customers’ desires and subsequently produces weight loss products that would help its clients to maximally attain their weight loss goals at the least cost possible. In fact, this has been the compelling force behind the formulation and production of weight loss products. Besides, NutrisystemInc was capable of learning that it had a modest capacity for expansion, dismal market share, research potential and smaller clients-market networks that would boost its market performance. The company therefore opted to offer differentiated products and accepted a merger entry option with Weight Watchers International, Inc. to expand its market and operational base.
The undertaken activities mainly originate in response to the market feedback. NTRI has thus been able to affably learn from its milieu while the learning activities have allowed it to make transformational steps. Moreover, the stagnation in NTRI’s weight loss products market might have generated feedbacks which elicited the need for market expansion, product differentiation and sifting for more research resources to help the company expand and gain a competitive base so that it can rival other market players that already have dominant market shares. The merger might be perceived as a transformational tread towards assisting NTRI achieve the set goal of attaining greater market share. Other activities that NTRI undertakes indicate that the company is very responsive to changes and signals that accrue within its operational environment. This is well illustrated through the company’s research and design of weight loss products and marketing facilities. The present trend of online and offline marketing, and considerate counseling has been part of company’s biggest quest geared towards creating products that would fit the clients’ needs in the weight loss products market.

Hence, balancing loop offers NutrisystemIncthe capacity to effectively learn from various clients and market players with respect to what they desire in order to for it to tailor its services and products to fit market demands. For instance, crave to have weight loss products that are cheap while fulfill the clients needs is a learning opportunity for NTRI to tailor it research activities towards the production of products that are compatible with its operational platforms. Conversely, from the reinforcing loop, the verity that NTRI is incapable of capturing a larger market share ought to act as a drive behind the company’s movement towards tendering commodities that may out-compete weight loss products produced by other market competitors.

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System Feedback Loops  Nutrisystem Incorporation. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

System Feedback Loops  Nutrisystem Incorporation
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