Synergy (glossary)

From SEBoK
Jump to: navigation, search
(1) In an organization synergy is the ability of a group to outperform even its best individual member. (Buchanan and Huczynski,1997).
(2) A construct or collection of different elements working together to produce results not obtainable by any of the elements alone. The elements, or parts, can include people, hardware, software, facilities, policies, documents: all things required to produce system-level results. (Blanchard 2004).

Sources

(1) Buchanan, D. and A. Huczynski. 1997. Organizational behavior, introductory text, 3rd edition, p. 276. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Prentice Hall.

(2) Blanchard, B. 2004. System Engineering Management, p. 8. Hoboken, N, USAJ: John Wiley.

Discussion

Synergy is two or more things functioning together to produce a result not independently obtainable. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia meaning "working together". It is often used in business or other human activitiy systems to describe outcomes which can only be achieved by encouraging people or organizations to work together, often through encouraging friction or creative tensions between them. In medicine synergy is used to describe combinations of drugs which interact in ways that enhance or magnify one or more effects, or side-effects, of those drugs. This may give both positive and negative effects.

Definition (2) is typical of the use of the term synergy in systems engineering texts to describe how system behavior emerges from the interaction between elements. In this sense synergy is closely related to emergence.


SEBoK v. 1.7 released 27 October 2016

SEBoK Discussion

Please provide your comments and feedback on the SEBoK below. You will need to log in to DISQUS using an existing account (e.g. Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or create a DISQUS account. Simply type your comment in the text field below and DISQUS will guide you through the login or registration steps. Feedback will be archived and used for future updates to the SEBoK. If you provided a comment that is no longer listed, that comment has been adjudicated. You can view adjudication for comments submitted prior to SEBoK v. 1.0 at SEBoK Review and Adjudication. Later comments are addressed and changes are summarized in the Letter from the Editor and Acknowledgements and Release History.

If you would like to provide edits on this article, recommend new content, or make comments on the SEBoK as a whole, please see the SEBoK Sandbox.

blog comments powered by Disqus