Closed and Open Systems in an Organization

Mechanistic and Organic Systems
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Morris Centeno
Teacher, Philippines

Closed and Open Systems in an Organization

In organizations, there must be a time for open and a time for closed system.
Can these two co-mingle with one another? When is the right moment?

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Open and Closed Organizational Systems

Open systems are those interacting with other systems or the outside environment, whereas closed systems have relatively little interaction with other systems or the outside environment:
- The closed-system approach sees organizations as systems of management, technology, personnel, equipment, and materials, but tends to exclude competitors, suppliers, distributors, and governmental regulators.
A closed-system perspective views organizations as relatively independent of environmental influences. The closed-system approach conceives of the organization as a system of management, technology, personnel, equipment, and materials, but tends to exclude competitors, suppliers, distributors, and governmental regulators.
- Open-systems theory originated in the natural sciences. Later this philosophy spread to fields such as IT, management and psychotherapy. In contrast to closed-systems, the open-system perspective views organizations as taking inputs from the environment, transforming them, and releasing them as outputs, with reciprocal effects on the organization itself.
In general, circumstances requiring an open system approach are:
- External environment has a big impact on the organization at hand
- External environment has major changes
- External environment changes often
- External environment is complex

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