What are the Characteristics of a System in MIS?

Characteristics of a System

The definition of the system itself suggests basic characteristics present in all systems. These are:-

  1. Organization\Order
  2. Interaction
  3. Interdependence
  4. Integration
  5. Central objective or Purpose


  1. Organization\Order

Organization refers to the order and structure that determines the flow of control, communications, and chain of commands. In other words, an organization refers to the arrangement of component or sub-systems that help to achieve the objectives.

For example, a company is a system, made up of different departments which are its sub-systems. The employees are organized in a hierarchical order, with the chairman at the top leading the workers to present Downwards.

Organization in mis
Organization in mis
  1. Interaction

Interaction refers to the manner in which each component functions with the other co-existing components of the system.


  • In an organization, having different departments, each department interacts with the other department in order to successfully achieve a common objective.
  • Advertising interacts with Sales.
  • In a computer system, the CPU must interact with the input device to solve a problem.


  1. Interdependence

Interdependence implies that parts of the organization or computer system depend on one another.

In any system, all the parts are interrelated or linked according to a plan. All the components or sub-systems work in coordination with each other. One sub-system may depend on the input of another subsystem i.e. the output of one sub-system is the required input for another sub-system. This interdependence is very important in a system’s work.

For example, a user decides to computerize an application, an analyst analyses and designs it, a programmer does the programming & testing and then the application, is run by the computer operator as shown in the figure. Each of these persons performs properly on the basis of the required input from others in the computer-based system.

Interdependence in mis
Interdependence in mis
  1. Integration

Integration is concerned with how a system is tied together.

A system is made up of various sub-systems. These sub-systems are tied together in a system in order to produce the required results or to realize its objectives.

  1. Central Objective

It is the most important characteristic of any system.

Every system has a predefined goal or objective towards which it works. A system cannot exist without a defined objective.

The central objective must be known well in advance. It is on the basis of the central objectives may be real or stated.

For example, a business system may have profit-making as its central goal.