What Is Open Systems Theory  Case Study

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Careers Type: Case Study Paper: #80838300 Related Topics: Rational Choice Theory, Systems Development Life Cycle, Decision Theory, Time Warp 3
Excerpt from Case Study :

Organizational Studies

Open Systems Theory

What is Open Systems Theory?

To understand open systems theory, it is necessary to first look at what is mean by an open system. An open system is a system that interacts and is influenced by its environment (Scott, 2002). The interactions will involve inputs and outputs, such as energy exchanges, the movement of material between the system and the environment, or other types of feedback (Scott, 2002). Influences from the environmental conditions may include the natural environment with factors such as weather and competition for food exerting an influence, in the commercial environment the influences may include political, social, economic, technological, and competitive forces.

The definition of a system is a group of parts or components that work together as a whole, defined by boundaries, which in open systems will be porous (allowing inflows and outflows). The parts that work together may be mechanical, electronic, biological, or as mixture of the different types of components. Characteristics associated with a system include the ability of...


A good example of an open system is a person, made up of many biological processes and parts interacting with the external environment.

Open systems theory, as applied to organizational studies emerged after the Second World War, draws on the concepts of open systems to provide a framework which may be used to examine and understand the way organizations operate. The organization is perceived as an open system made up of a range of different types of components, including the employees, the internal systems and the assets. The linkage between the different components is recognized as being weaker and more fluid when compared to other types of open system. When organizations are seen as open systems there is also the potential for different components, especially the employees, to be members of numerous overlapping open systems.

How Can Open Systems Theory Be Used To Understand an Organization?

Open systems theory provides a holistic framework that may be used to analysis and understand an organization, facilitating the ability of the observer to consider the internal influences and the way in which the different parts work together, as well as the way in which external influence may impact on the system.

From an internal perspective open systems theory the firm may be examined…

Sources Used in Documents:


Scott, W.R. (2002). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

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