Open Systems Theory

by Ernie Jeffress, June 2014

300 words

1 page


An organization is a complex body that needs thorough studying and understanding of its structure. Therefore, since 1950’s the world has been arguing over tens of organizational theories which have all attempted to find the answer to the question: “How can we build a perfect organization? What should it look like?”

One of the most widespread theories is the Open Systems Theory that states that a successful organization is the one that tends to exchange its experience, resources and aspiration with its environment so that external factors can influence it and adjust to the macrocosm it exists in. M. E. Milakovich and G. J. Gordon (2008) underline that an open-system organization is distinguished by its atmosphere of uncertainty, interdependency and riskiness. On the other hand, such a system gets its indisputable benefits: the reciprocal flow of information, resources and opportunities it would have never had if it were a conservative closed system.

An important part of an organization’s functioning is communication. Assuming that most of the organizations today are open, they all need to interact in the most efficient way possible. Regarding this, we are currently offered a wide range of facilities that make it possible. For example, the Skype application can be called an open system that helps other open systems develop. On the official web-site of the application (2012, October 15) there are several case studies that prove how useful Skype is in terms of linking an organization or its unit with the environment. Today more and more organizations publish their Skype Names so as to declare their openness, educational institutions establish conference-style classes – all proving that the open-system theory can be applied worldwide.


Milakovich, M. E., & Gordon, G. J. (2008). Public Administration in America: Cengage Learning. (2012, October 15). ePromos. Retrieved from …

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