Essay On Organizations Are Viewed As Open Systems


All organisations operate within a system that consists of elements that work together to meet the organisational goals. It is directly influenced by factors that require feedback. The informational exchanges with the surroundings help in analysing, encoding, transmitting, and delivering the information back to the external environment. Since the boundaries of open systems are dynamic, the success of the system is easily influenced by the changing environment. In this position paper, an attempt has been made to discuss the arguments for and against the thesis that is asserted in the upcoming section of the paper.

Assertion Of Thesis

To determine whether or not Organizations are viewed as open systems and their success is dependent on the constantly changing environment.

Argument(s) In Favor Of The Thesis

Organisations following an open system follow an approach similar to open social systems that allow contrasting forces to co-exist. Each force or element carries out its respective well-defined roles to bring about gradual transitions within the system. It emphasizes the external factors that lie in the broader circle of the environment which is inclusive of economic, social, political, and technological factors. With the onset of globalisation reform policies, the porous boundaries within the system allowed the easy flow of information, technology, labour and capital (World Bank, 2018). The nature of the workforce has become diverse as workers across countries have been able to participate in the production process of other economies. Workers have been able to discover businesses that best suit their skill set. Labours in manufacturing, distribution, and other services have crossed international borders raising the productivity of the economies. More importantly, Globalisation has increased the cultural diversity of workplaces. People from different economic, political, and socio-cultural backgrounds are working together. Outsourcing labour became a common phenomenon after the rapid expansion of IT and production firms (Khalatur, Vinichenko, Volovyk, 2021). With the growth and advancement of technology, there was a gradual exchange of technology across countries.

One can easily argue that undoubtedly, globalisation has led to the increase in the economic growth of several countries on account of the benefit of the open system. The dynamism has resulted in improving the standards of living. A culturally rich workforce creates room for creativity and innovation and raises the performance of the organisations in a competitive environment (Velten, & Lashley, 2018). At the same time, it poses challenges for the company management to tackle such diverse employees working as a team. The absence of effective communication among team members can result in unfavourable consequences. This requires proper research and investigation activities that employ more workers in different departments for the execution of the work. Hence the training of the employees plays a vital role in determining the success of labour mobilisation. It can be concluded that open systems have allowed the free flow of tangible and intangible factors that have resulted in major transformations in the workplace environment.

In 2004, Google became public by its initial offering of shares which reflects the management was open to the dynamism that showed remarkable success (Zuboff, 2019). The benefits of an open system have allowed the company to turn into a global technology giant. It has been able to expand its operations across the globe in both hardware and software goods. This has been possible only because of the company’s strategic policies that have been flexible and adaptive to the changes of the external environment. It has been able to develop, innovate, design, and create products using the learnings across different areas of operation.

Figure 1: Relation between change management and organisational performance

From the above figure, it can be argued that the change in open system organisations positively influences the desired goals and outcomes of the company. The available inputs to production need effective utilization to optimize the success of open system organizations. There are several ways in which future managers can increase the motivation levels of the workers in the organization. Workers must be encouraged through employee recognition and employee engagement programs (Arifin, Nirwanto, & Manan, 2019). This would also promote the success of open system organisations as recognition of employees across all socio-political and cultural backgrounds will ensure better team building. Timely incentives in cash and kind can be offered to keep them motivated. It is to be noted that good organizations always leave room for discussion and evaluation that helps the management to understand employee sentiment. This promotes better problem-solving skills both for management and employees. For instance, if an employee wants to relocate to a particular site, then the organisation must make arrangements to do so. It should keep the options open for the workers that would allow easy dynamism in the system. This helps in maintaining job worker performance and also motivates them to push themselves (Ahmad, 2021). Just like the outside environment influences the decision-making process of the companies, in a similar way, the companies also exert influence on the external environment. This mainly takes place through promotional activities, advertising, public relations, and many more. Such changes result in the exchange of knowledge, values, and other related skills that are useful in the process of transformation.

Argument(s) Against The Thesis

Open system management and its success due to the dynamic environment can also be easily argued on different grounds. Since it is open to variations in system functioning, the same objective can be met using different methods. This raises the unpredictability and uncertainty of the desired results. The element of equifinality needs to be considered while framing and adopting different business models and practices (Ibarra, Bigdeli, Igartua, & Ganzarain, 2020). Hence it does not emphasize specific outlined results or approaches. Since many external factors keep playing, the extent of the impact of one factor is hard to determine. It might be easy to coordinate but difficult to bring about transparent systematic changes.

An open system is easily impacted by the presence of all the external variables of concern (Post, Sarala, Gatrell, & Prescott, 2020). Therefore, it becomes extremely challenging for organisations to simultaneously control and manage the impacts on the business conditions. Even the flow of information may be disrupted leading to communication gaps that lower efficiency and productivity. The interdependency within the factors that affect the internal functioning of the businesses may prove to be a deterrent to rapid growth and advancement. One of the major examples of the failure of closed system management can be explained with the help of Nokia’s story. During the early 2000s, Nokia was leading in the production of cell phones (Lamberg, Lubinaitė, Ojala, & Tikkanen, 2019). However, with the technological advancement of the internet, Nokia failed to focus on software thinking it might lose out on its customers of hardware goods. From the viewpoint of system management, it can be noted that the company did not access, analyse, and incorporate the new information in the market for business development purposes. The company did not welcome the transition fearing customers would undergo a change in the user experience. There are other instances of organisations failing to welcome dynamism as a part of their growth plan which ultimately leads to errors in insights.

As open system organizations are non- autonomous there are underlying challenges to managing the different levels of the system with minimum repercussions on the whole system. It is difficult to integrate all changes to turn into one single unified system. In this context, organisations will only look to implement policies and welcome dynamism that will stabilize their system (McAuliffe, 2021). In most cases, such attempts lead to discrimination on grounds of race or the LGBTQ community. Another failure of an open system and its dynamism stems from the problems in managing cultural diversity. Since most managements do not have a clear understanding and acceptance of the diversity concept it lacks the willingness to bring in changes in the organisational practices. Hence in such situations, the open system fails to deliver success amidst dynamism. Rather, it leads to discrimination, workplace bias, and prejudices.


Most corporate organisations have become the global village that requires managers to tactfully handle the challenging effects of globalisation. Division of labour and specialisation can help raise organizational effectiveness. The diverse workforce can be better managed with the application of human psychology and sociology (Troth, & Guest, 2020). It will managers deal effectively with labour problems. There is a need to attain a global perspective at the time of decision-making and problem-solving. Besides, controlling the political and environmental conditions is not in the hands of the management. The management can best help in channelizing the internal elements of business in a definite direction to obtain the best possible outcomes. Google’s management has set a benchmark in terms of organisational performance where most of the strategies are framed to promote innovation and creativity. Nokia’s story was a lesson in proving the importance of open system organisations. Organisational behaviour thus studies the behavioural impacts within the organisation and makes adjustments to raise efficiency. From the above discussion, it can be concluded that organisations can be viewed as open systems and their success is dependent on the constantly changing environment.


Ahmad, M. (2021). The onshore impact of offshoring: Supporting and preserving work motivation and employee well-being.
Arifin, Z., Nirwanto, N., & Manan, A. (2019). Improving the effect of work satisfaction on job performance through employee engagement. International Journal of Multi-Discipline Science (IJ-MDS), 2(1), 1-9.
Ibarra, D., Bigdeli, A. Z., Igartua, J. I., & Ganzarain, J. (2020). Business model innovation in established SMEs: A configurational approach. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 6(3), 76.
Khalatur, S., Vinichenko, I., & Volovyk, D. (2021). Development of modern business processes and outsourcing activities. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, 7(3), 195-202.
Lamberg, J. A., Lubinaitė, S., Ojala, J., & Tikkanen, H. (2019). The curse of agility: The Nokia Corporation and the loss of market dominance in mobile phones.
McAuliffe, P. (2021). Transitional justice, institutions and temporality: towards a dynamic understanding. International Criminal Law Review, 21(5), 817-847.
Post, C., Sarala, R., Gatrell, C., & Prescott, J. E. (2020). Advancing theory with review articles. Journal of Management Studies, 57(2), 351-376.
Prosci (2020) What is Change Management and How Does it Work? Retrieved from:
Troth, A. C., & Guest, D. E. (2020). The case for psychology in human resource management research. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(1), 34-48.  
Velten, L., & Lashley, C. (2018). The meaning of cultural diversity among staff as it pertains to employee motivation. Research in Hospitality Management, 7(2), 105-113.
World Bank. (2018). World development report 2019: The changing nature of work. The World Bank.
Zuboff, S. (2019, January). Surveillance capitalism and the challenge of collective action. In New labor forum (Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 10-29). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
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