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The Triple Bottom Line and System Theory: In Brief

Updated on January 1, 2013

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Ways in which Triple Bottom Line and Systems Theory support each other

This discourse presented the best explanation that one can find to help one to understand how the Triple Bottom Line and Systems theory support each other.

The systems theory presents an abstract nature and the functions of systems without reference to their specific components. For example, in a corporation there are many systems, and the larger the corporation the more complex the systems. The interesting factor that note upon close examination is how the Systems Theory shows how parts of a complex system are held together by relationships such that a small change in one part can trigger larger changes in another part.

We begin to understand how Systems Theory indicates that an organization is only one component in much larger economic, political, social, and environmental systems. In my lifelong studies there were occasions when I had the time to study Boeing Company, Airbus Corp., and Nissan Corp. Even though these corporations are large they are only small components of much larger economic systems.

They also affect political, social and environmental systems. It just so happens that Boeing Company, Airbus Corp., and Nissan Corp. are very concerned about their Triple Bottom Line and how it affects their profits, people, and the planet. One example is “product emissions,” especially pollutants, because in the world that we live in today, a knowledgeable global population is concerned about air quality.

Does the Triple Bottom Line and Systems Theory negate each other?

Triple Bottom Line and Systems Theory do not negate each other. To the contrary, they complement each other. When we consider the situation where an A380 superjumbo jet blew an engine shortly after taking off from Singapore we note that is one incidence affected the travel industry globally. The systems theory, as our reading assignment (the module overview) explained, the theory holds that parts of the complex system, in this case the air transportation system, are held together by relationships such that a small change (such as an engine blowing out on a single A380 superjumbo jet), triggers large changes in other parts, even throughout the entire system. The triple bottom line theory works well within the Airbus Corp. and helps observers of this company to see that their employees, at all levels of Airbus Corp., do their best to produce the very best products. But the whole system was affected when one considers that several corporations were involved the fallout and other airplanes all around the world were grounded because of this incidence. According to a telegraph report, ( Qantas has never in its 90-year history had a fatal accident.

Elash, A. & Trumbull, M. (2010) reported that none of the 433 passengers or 26 crew members were hurt (p. 1). My feelings are that it can be difficult to explain how these two theories complement each other, in a short, two page paper, but they do not negate each other.


Elash, A. & Trumbull, M. (2010, September 30). Qantas A380 engine emergency casts scrutiny on Airbus superjumbo jets. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from

Qantas A380 Airbus: problem with oil in engines—Telegraph. (2011). Retrieved from


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