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Teleology is a philosophical doctrine that final cause exists- the end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced. Knowing the ultimate purpose or design of a phenomenon is a means of explaining that phenomenon. Teleology encompasses the belief that phenomena are not only guided by mechanical forces but move towards some purposeful goal.

The overarching source of change --
There is causality, potentially involving multiple causes, and there is teleology, the final cause, the fundamental source of becoming. Teleology is then the one overarching source of change. Aristotle argued that there is a fundamental source of becoming in everything, that everything tends towards some end, or form. All other sources of becoming, whether formal, efficient, or material cause in Aristotle's scheme of causality, are subordinate to the overarching teleological movement. (Stacey, 2000, pp 196).

Why ""why"" is important (Stacey, 2000, pp 13,14 & Stacey, 2001, pp 162) --
A teleological cause is an answer to the ""why"" question -- Why does a particular phenomenon become what it becomes? What is the purpose that causes the phenomenon to do what it does or become what it becomes?Though teleology has largely excluded from the domain of science in recent times, it is unreasonable to seek to eliminate it from the domain of humans and their organizations. The notion of purpose and purposeful action is essential to understanding human action.

Human action can be understood in terms of its particular assumptions about purpose. The ""why"" question is held by many to be outside the domain of science...and thought by many to even be unnecessary. Anything that smacks of purpose, spiritual essence, élan vital or anything of that sort is immediately taken to be a sign of metaphysical or magical thinking. However, it is completely inappropriate to remove the notion of purpose form an explanation of human action. Human action is purposeful and it is important to make clear in one's explanation just how one thinks about that purpose.

Causality --
See causality for a discussion of causality directed at management practice and organization theory.

See history of causality for a philosophical history of the development of views of causality.

See Aristotle on causality for a look into Aristotle's view on causality and teleology.

See causal relationships for a discussion of cause and effect.