RATIONAL, NATURAL, AND OPEN SYSTEM 2 Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open-Get Answer Now

RATIONAL, NATURAL, AND OPEN SYSTEM 2 Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open-Get Answer Now
Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems
Rose Evans
Author Note
Rose Evans
I have no known conflict of interest to disclose.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Rose Evans
Rational, Natural, and Open Systems
In this day and age in society, it is difficult to imagine a life with no organizations, thus as humans we live in a village filled with organizations worldwide. These organizations are involved in the production of products and service delivery which society requires. Such an aspect makes it crucial to define organizations as platforms where individuals proceed to achieve common goals. Organizations are established largely to bring individuals together to work toward a mutual goal (Scott & Davis, 2015). Organizational theories can provide a way in which organizations can identify ways to manage the entity better. These theories primarily focus on the growth of an organization, effective planning, developing the culture of the organization, structure, and design. Three primary perspectives of organizations were developed: rational, natural, and open system.
Defining Characteristics
Organizations are prevalent in every facet of social life. Rational, natural, and open system perspectives define organizations in varying viewpoints based on their traits. For example, the rational perspective focuses on the various organizational attributes which typically aid in distinguishing an organization from associated social forms. As for the natural perspective, the organization is related to an organic system instilled with a powerful drive to survive and continue as a system (Scott & Davis, 2015). Finally, the open system focuses on the organization as it related to a system which is open to external environments along with one that depends on resource flows. In this system individuals have diverse interests and value various incentives.
Rational System
This system defines an organization with formal rules, goal setting, and focuses on the normative structure of the organization. Based on this system, organizations are collective and focused on pursuing specific objectives and exhibits a high formalized social structure. This considers the organization as socially organized by individuals who aim to achieve specific goals through collaborations. Rational systems have important features that include effectiveness, efficiency, goal specification, and formal structure (Scott & Davis, 2015). Every feature within this system offers crucial contribution to the organizations formation. According to this perspective, organizational behaviors are considered to be actions executed by managers who have coordinated and purposefully ideas. In this system, goals are the primary conception of the desired end goal of the organization. Goals are what guide the decisions related to the structure of the organization (Scott & Davis, 2015). They are often used to specify what required task needs to be performed, resource allocation, personnel to be employed, and other personnel in the organization.
Formal structure is what generated rational behavior within an organization and therefore is considered to be an important element regarding the rational system of the organization. The structure determines other visible structure relating to the set of roles running the behavior of the structure (Scott & Davis, 2015). Several relations and roles in the formal structure are specified independently as well as occupying positions within an organization. Based on the effectiveness and efficiency, the rational system includes information, enhances efficiency, implement, design, and show frequency within an organization. The set of terms is one portion of this system which indicates the intellectual limitations regarding individual decision making (Scott & Davis, 2015). Terms such as directives, authority, performance, rules, jurisdiction, and coordination suggest that the rational behavior of the organization take place within specified limits.
Natural System
This perspective believes that an organization is a social system where several organization individuals are directed to accomplish multiple goals. It is argued that organizations are often collective with participants who pursue multiple interests which are common and disparate (Scott & Davis, 2015). Yet these organizations have the ability to understand the value of preserving the organization as a valuable resource. This system states that an individual’s behavior regarding their participant is generally guided by the individuals’ own interests or behaviors (Kandhro, 2015). The natural system perspective has key features including informal structure, complexity, and functional analysis.
Goal complexity in this perspective of the organization is related to participant behavior which is more than just problematic. One major goal complexity is that the goals are different than those stated in the organization (Kandhro, 2015). Th system experiences a disparity among the stated goals and the actual goals of the organization. In some cases, the stated goals do not govern the behavior of the participants.
The informal structure of this system is dependent on the features of the participants, which are distinguished from a formal basis. The participants typically enter the organization with shaped ideas, expectations, and bring different abilities, interests, and values, which shape the operation of the organization (Kandhro, 2015). Many of the individuals generate informal norms or behavior patterns such as power systems or status, working environments, and sociometric structures. Functional analysis of the natural system perspectives is an essential tool in working in the organization. The technique believes that the organization is a social unit which must be filled to survive in its current form (Kandhro, 2015). This perspective examines the organization based on the needs that ought to be achieved and the functions intended to be performed to ensure its survival.
Open System
The common approaches to study organizations, classical and human relation, were replaced with a system approach that understands and studies the organization (Cano-Rubio et al., 2016). The open system states that organizations are systems where individuals with varying interests have a partnership to serve these interests. This system indicates that organizations involve a system consisting of parts whose relations make it independent. The majority of the environment has an impact of the organization’s structure as differing aspects of the environment surround the organization. This system reveals that the environment and the organization are interdependent (Kandhro, 2015). Based on this perspectives, open system organizations have the capacity to survive in the environment by managing its resources that were received from the environment. It is believed that the environment based on the open system perspective has an ultimate source of energy, material, and information essential in the continuance of the systems.
The self-maintenance feature of the open system perspective indicates that the organization works in a particular environment and has the ability to adjust itself to an environment (de Bakker et al., 2017). The interdependency and connection among subsystems instill the survival capacity of the entire organization system.
The normative structure of this system comprises of values, normal, and roles which provide general rules that will govern the behaviors of the system (de Bakker et al., 2017). This feature makes the structure hierarchical with its components being loosely coupled at the individual and group levels.
Relationship between the three systems
Regardless of the differences in terms of the varying characteristics which underlie the aforementioned systems, most of them interconnect depending upon the organizations situations. Organizational science emerged in the 1900s with early researchers focusing on legal-rational regulations and rules which governed organizations (de Bakker et al., 2017). The three perspectives exhibit the historical progress of organizations. Such history can reveal several characteristics as to why these perspectives focus on certain qualities within an organization. Aside from the three theories mentioned, the modern organization theory gathers the three theories and combines them. For example, if a rational system perspective were to focus on formal aspects of the organization, the natural system would analyze informal aspects.
Based on historical research, in the 1930s the natural system perspective was established in response to the rational system approach of organizations. Although organizations in today’s society consider formal structure to be important, individuals often will not follow formal rules within the organization. The natural system perspective considers organizations to be collectives where individuals have various interests which str often common. However, these individuals still recognize the value of maintaining an organization as a significant resource (de Bakker et al., 2017). In many cases, the informal structure of the relationships developed in individuals is more influential in guiding their behavior than the formal structure of the organization. The natural system perspective focuses more on how complex the organizations’ goal is and the informal structure.
The natural and rational system puts emphasis n numerous aspects in an organization while holding the environment constant. This would suggest that they are based on a closed system approach. However, some organizations do not operate within a bubble since they are highly impacted by external factors from the environment. With this in mind the open system emerged in the 1960s with the primary goal being to explain interrelationships among organizations and the external environments they are in. According to this perspective, organizations are aggregates of interdependent activities linking changing associations of those who participate in institutional environments. Organizations often combine open system aspects with that of natural and rational systems. For example, the open system rational models utilize several theories including the transactional cost theory, contingent theory, and bounded cost theory (de Bakker et al., 2017). The open system natural model incorporates theories including organizational population ecology, resource dependance, institutional theory, and the Hannan and Freeman theories.
Theoretical viewpoints
Rational System
According to historical research, the administrative theory takes on a rational system approach in organizations. The theory focuses on the structural level of the organization, stating that formal changes in procedures are required from the top-down instead of the bottom-up. This suggests that that the changes at different levels of the work structure, which can impact an individual’s tasks, and the changes in the levels of each individual task impacts the works greater structure. This theory focuses on two aspects of the organizational structure which involves both specialization and coordination (Banerjee et al., 2020). Coordination includes a hierarchical organizational form which influences the relationship among the organization and participants.
Another theory would be the one based on Weber’s study of legal rationality authority and bureaucratic ideal types, which contributes to the rational perspective of the organization. Three main types of authority are examined: charismatic, traditional, and legal-rational authorities. Each authority observed relates to organizations and their particular administrative structure, where the bureaucratic ideal type relates to the legal-rational authority (Banerjee et al., 2020). The ideal consists of specific features such as regulations and rules such as routine activities. Bureaucracies are common in today’s society as they increase calculability and can be used to even social differences. This makes bureaucracies an efficient technique regarding social organizations due to the formal rules they follow.
Natural System Perspective
The cooperative system theory acknowledges informal aspects which are necessary for the organization’s existence. For an organization to exists, it is crucial that there are individuals who are able to communicate with each other, individuals willing to contribute to the actions of the organization, and individuals who can reach a common goal (Banerjee et al., 2020). This concept combines all elements of the organization into the common goal, willingness to serve, and communication. This theory further suggests that individuals within an organization must be encouraged with valuable factors to provide to the organization’s success through informal ways. Thus, it is crucial to understand how an organization works regarding informal aspects.
Open System Perspective
The transactional theory takes on an open system approach regarding the organization. This theory adds to the understanding of several effects the external environment has on the rational behavior of an organization through examining the cost of performing economic exchanges. Often organizations will aim to minimize costs related to coordinated social activity. In such cases, transactions develop into an ideal level of assessment for the organizations research (Banerjee et al., 2020). The theory works like many other open, rational systems in that it assumes the organizations behavior is influenced by external environments and is rational. However, unlike the other theories, the transactional theory focuses on the ecological level when looking at the groups of an organization.
Personal Perspective
From a personal perspective, it is believed that an organization ought to comprise a group of individuals who work together towards accomplishing a particular goal. This group of individuals will provide differing beliefs and ideologies, yet they work together in accordance with a defined structure and specified procedures to reach certain goals. It is also believed that natural, rational, and open systems define organizations from varying perspectives. For business owners and managers, it is crucial to understand organizational structures and ow they impact the organizations performance. The three perspectives ought to be utilized in appropriate ratios to influence benefits with few of the detractors. It is apparent that there is a need for new organizational models and more understanding due to digital information growing and businesses expanding globally (Baum & Haveman, 2020).
Biblical Perspective
According to Exodus, “Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God. And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Exodus 18:19-20). This refers to leadership and how important it is to solve disputes among Gods people. This passage is replicated within the rational perspective as it is expected of organizations to have formal structures which guide individuals to focus on the end goal. The book of Matthew 6:33 discusses the importance of order. Order is crucial in all organizations as it can dictate how the organization makes decisions and how individual workers should behave. This aligns with the scientific management theory as this theory uses the traits of developing and quantifying work through means of formal procedures within the organization. “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Genesis 11:6). This statement shows the importance and limitless potential an organization has when aligning with its views. Managers could learn a great deal by reading the Bible as it pertains to human nature along with organizations.
Based on the three perspectives previously mentioned relating to analysis, each theory views the organization as a distinct entity within an environment. The rational system states that the organization is not impacted by external environments as it is closed. The natural system believes that an organization as a social system requires informal aspects be met to ensure the survival of the organization. These two perspectives contradict each other regarding the formulation of goals and the organizational structure. The open system states that the organization consists of subsystems which modify themselves based upon the prevalence of the environment which currently exists. An open system generally is the reconciliation of natural and rational system perspectives.
Banerjee, S. B., Jermier, J. M., Peredo, A. M., Perey, R., & Reichel, A. (2020). Theoretical perspectives on organizations and organizing in a post-growth era. The organization. 1350508420973629
Baum, J. C., & Haveman, H. A. (2020). Editors’ comments: The future of organizational theory. Academy of Management Review, 45(2), 268-271. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2020.0030
Cano-Rubio, M., Fuentes-Lombardo, G., Hernandez-Ortiz, M. J., & Vallejo-Martos, M. C. (2016). Composition of familiness: Perspectives of social capital and open systems. European Journal of Family Business, 6(2), 75.85
De Bakker, F. G., Den Hond, F., & Laamanen, M. (2017). Social movements: Organizations and organizing. In Handbook of social movements across disciplines (pp. 203-231). Springer, Cham.
Kandhro, D. (2015). Organizational theories: A comparative analysis of key perspectives of rational, natural and open system views of organization. Case Studies Journal ISSN (2305-509X)-Volume, 4.
King James Bible. (2017). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1769).
Scott, W. R., & Davis, G. F. (2015). Organizations and organizing: Rational, natural, and open systems perspectives. Routledge.

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