What is equifinality?
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What Does equifinality Mean
Before entering fully into the meaning of the term equifinality, it is necessary to proceed to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can determine that it derives from Latin, since it is the result of the sum of the following lexical components:
-The prefix “equi-”, which can be translated as “equal”.
-The noun “finis”, which is synonymous with “end” or “term”.
-The particle “-alis”, which is equivalent to “relative to”.
-The suffix “-dad”, which means “quality”.
The dictionary produced by the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ) does not include the term equifinality in its dictionary. The notion, however, is frequently used in the context of general systems theory .
The idea of equifinality, in this framework, refers to the capacity of an open system to arrive at the same final state by different routes and starting from different initial conditions . This assumes that the system is in a position to reach a certain goal by advancing through various paths.
Equifinality is associated with flexibility and adaptability since the system is prepared to fulfill its objective beyond the starting point and the route taken.
As a scientific current, equifinality implies an approach from multiple disciplines and perspectives to the object of study, without letting the area where the phenomenon takes place limit the analysis . What allows equifinality, in short, is the integral approach of an entity.
In a general sense, equifinality reflects that the end of certain processes is linked to the organizational nature of the system and not to the beginning of these processes. This nature is what makes it possible to obtain identical results from different beginnings.
Within the business sphere, there is a lot of use of the term equity that we are dealing with now. Specifically, it is used when a company has a very clear objective, because at that moment the different paths that exist to achieve it will be established.
An example of this could be that a company wants to increase its profits or improve its profits. In that case, among the paths that it can adopt to achieve that goal are from reducing what are the production costs to increasing what are sales going through improving what is the profit margin on sales.
Not forgetting that you can also choose to offer customers what are higher quality services or products.
In the same way, it must be taken into account that equifinality is a principle that acquires enormous weight within the collection management sector. And it is that in this different methods are used to achieve an end: recover the assets.
Equifinality the opposite is the multifinality . While, as we said, equifinality implies reaching the same end starting from different conditions, multipurpose means obtaining different results starting from similar conditions. In this second case, there is no internal balance that leads to the same goal.