Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems from Module 2: Week 2 and reply to 2?of your peers.?? ?2 replies of at least 600-700 words? each thread, students must support the | Wridemy

Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems from Module 2: Week 2 and reply to 2?of your peers.?? ?2 replies of at least 600-700 words? each thread, students must support the


 Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems from Module 2: Week 2 and reply to 2 of your peers.    2 replies of at least 600-700 words 

each thread, students must
support their assertions with at least 7 scholarly citations in APA format. Each reply must
incorporate at least 3 scholarly citations in the surrent APA format. Any sources cited must have
been published within the last five years. Each thread and reply must integrate at least 1  biblical
principle .

Your replies to your classmates' threads must be substantive in nature.

Dwaylan Jones

Discussion Thread: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems


Defining Characteristics

The rational system of organizations is characterized by a structured and formalized approach to decision-making. Power et al. (2019) explained, “For many years, decision support systems and technologies have had the goal of enhancing the effectiveness of human decision-making processes, fostering rational thinking, and avoiding biases and errors” (Power et al., 2019). It emphasizes efficiency, logic, and rationality in achieving organizational goals that are brought up. This relies on clear levels, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and standardized procedures. Decision-making is often based on data and analysis, and there is a focus on maximizing productivity and decreasing costs. Organizations recognize the importance of human behavior and social dynamics within the organization which makes sense in acknowledging that individuals have their own motivations, emotions, and values that influence their actions. One can look at aspects of the organization, such as culture, relationships, and communication. Decision-making in the natural system is often influenced by social interactions, intuition, and personal judgment. The belief is that the fractal structure of society contributes to the hierarchical nature of human decision-making processes (Kalina, 2022). Organizations also take into account the external environment and the organization's interactions associated with it. It recognizes that organizations are influenced by factors such as market conditions, technological advancements, and societal changes. This emphasizes adaptability, flexibility, and innovation, which is why decision-making in the open system is often based on looking into the external environment, gathering feedback, and adjusting strategies accordingly. All in all, the rational system can be characteristically defined as a system that focuses on efficiency and logic, the natural system focuses on human behavior and social dynamics, while the open system considers the external environment and promotes adaptability.

Relationship between Rational, Natural, and Open Systems

The rational, natural, and open systems of organizations are approaches to understanding and managing organizational functions. While they have unique characteristics, there are also relationships and overlaps between these systems in this realm of work. The rational system of organizations emphasizes efficiency, logic, and formalized decision-making processes so organizations can be designed and controlled through rational analysis and planning. In this system, decision-making is often shown with clear hierarchies and standardized procedures that focus on maximizing productivity and minimizing costs. With that, the rational system may overlook the human element and the impact of social dynamics within the organization and the natural system of organizations comes into play recognizing organizations are made up of individuals with their own motivations, emotions, and values. Closed-rational models in organization studies focus on factors such as position specification, task prescription, and procedural rules to guide interactions toward achieving organizational goals. These models analyze the structural features of an organization and their impact on work groups, either at the structural level or the social-psychological level, considering individual participants' performance and personal attributes (Onday, 2016). It emphasizes the aspects of the organization, such as culture, relationships, and communication. Decision-making in the natural system is influenced by social interactions, intuition, and personal judgment, so this system acknowledges that individuals may not always act rationally, and that emotions and social dynamics can significantly impact organizational outcomes, in other words, the decisions that need to be made. However, the natural system may lack structure and may struggle with efficiency and consistency, which is when the open system comes into play. The open system of organizations considers the external environment and the organization's interactions within it. Open system recognizes that organizations are influenced by factors such as market conditions, technological advancements, and societal changes. The open system emphasizes adaptability, flexibility, and innovation. Decision-making in the open system is often based on scanning the external environment, gathering feedback, and adjusting strategies accordingly. The open system approach, in order to achieve production innovation, a company must engage with the external environment and acquire crucial inputs, particularly information and knowledge, which can facilitate the development of innovative products within the organization (Yang et al., 2022). This system acknowledges the need for organizations to be responsive to changes in their environment. While the rational, natural, and open systems have distinct characteristics, they are not mutually exclusive. Organizations often exhibit elements of all three systems to varying degrees, like a rational system may incorporate elements of the natural system by recognizing the importance of employee engagement and motivation. Similarly, an open system may incorporate elements of the rational system by using data and analysis to inform decision-making for the organization. Organizations can benefit from understanding and leveraging the strengths of each system while mitigating their limitations. All in all, the rational, natural, and open systems of organizations offer different perspectives on organizational dynamics. The rational system emphasizes efficiency and formalized decision-making, the natural system focuses on human behavior and social dynamics, and the open system considers the external environment and promotes adaptability. While they have distinct characteristics, these systems are not mutually exclusive and can coexist within organizations to varying degrees. There seems to be a connection between the three systems where if one does not work then another would. They all depend on the works of some form of internal and external form to help ensure proper decision-making. Understanding the relationships between these systems can help organizations navigate complex challenges and achieve their goals effectively.

Theoretical Viewpoints

Rational System Theoretical Viewpoint

In the rational system, decision-making processes are created by logical reasoning and an evaluation of available alternatives. Individuals are expected to gather relevant information, analyze it objectively, and make choices that are in line with their goals and objectives. This approach emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness in achieving organizational goals. As stated earlier, within the rational system, there is a strong emphasis on clear hierarchies, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and standardized procedures. Decision-making authority is typically concentrated at the top levels of the organization, with decisions cascading down through the hierarchy. This ensures consistency and uniformity in decision-making processes. The rational system also places importance on quantitative analysis and data-driven decision-making. It relies on the use of metrics, performance indicators, and financial analysis to evaluate the costs and benefits of different options. This allows for a more objective assessment of the potential outcomes and helps in making informed decisions. Furthermore, the rational system assumes that individuals have complete information and possess the cognitive ability to process and analyze it effectively. The connections between decision-making, rational thinking, evidence, and objective reality are ongoing inquiries for philosophers, theoretical physicists, and cognitive scientists. These questions have gained renewed interest due to advancements in computing technology, digitization, and global communication networks (Power et al., 2019). Many can assume that individuals can make their own rational choices by considering all available information and weighing the potential risks and rewards, especially in organizational spaces. It is also important to know that the rational system has been the subject of criticism. Authors Greve et al. (2021) provided key cons of rational systems us as individual decision-making within organizations can have significant impacts, both financially and non-financially. For instance, a successful tackle by a footballer in a match can determine Champions League participation and contribute millions of euros to the team's revenue. Similarly, a securities trader's decision to adjust a position can result in substantial financial consequences, as seen in the case of Kweku Adoboli's trades at UBS. However, the consequences of decisions are not limited to financial outcomes, as they can also affect the safety and well-being of individuals. Understanding the factors that contribute to high-quality decision-making and the conditions that may lead decision-makers to deviate from rationality is an important area of study (Greve et al., 2021). It oversimplifies human behavior by assuming perfect rationality and complete information when in actuality, individuals are influenced by emotions and biases.

Natural System Theoretical Viewpoint

In the natural system, the informal aspects of the organization, such as culture, relationships, and communication, play a crucial role in shaping the overall functionality of the organization. It acknowledges that employees are not merely rational but driven by economic incentives with social and emotional needs. Within the natural system, the focus is on fostering positive relationships and creating a supportive work environment which includes promoting open communication channels, encouraging collaboration and teamwork, and recognizing the importance of employee well-being. The natural system recognizes that when individuals feel valued, understood, and connected within the organization, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and productive in their work. Ponsiglione et al. (2021) argued, “Main results of the research show that internal coordination mechanisms based on informal systems, like the natural language, allow organizations to achieve better performances under different external and internal conditions” (Ponsiglione et al., 2021). The natural system of organizations emphasizes the significance of human behavior, social interactions, and the informal aspects of the organization in creating a positive and productive workspace for all. By recognizing and addressing the needs and motivations of individuals, organizations can foster a culture of collaboration, engagement, and innovation.

Open System Theoretical Viewpoint

The open system perspective in organizations is rooted in the contingency theory, which posits that organizations are not isolated entities but are influenced by external factors. For more context the contingency theory of strategic conflict management, which was initially introduced in 1997, emerged as a theoretical framework that aimed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of crisis or conflict management. It offered a more intricate perspective compared to its predecessor, the excellence theory (Cheng and Fisk, 2022, as cited in, Pang et al., 2010). This perspective emphasizes the importance of adaptability and responsiveness to changes in the external environment for an organization's survival and success. Unlike the rational system perspective, which focuses on rational decision-making processes, and the natural system perspective, which emphasizes human behavior and social interactions within an organization, the open system perspective considers the connection between an organization and its external environment. Organizations operating under the open system perspective recognize the need to continuously scan and monitor their external environment to identify emerging trends, opportunities, and threats. This proactive approach enables them to adjust their strategies, structures, and processes accordingly. One organization that uses an open system successfully is Google by being globally informed which in return helps with what they put into the market. By embracing the open system, organizations can effectively navigate the complexities of their external environment and seize opportunities for growth. This system encourages organizations to be proactive, agile, and responsive, enabling them to thrive in dynamic and uncertain business opportunities.

Personal Perspective and View

The rational system in organizations really shows how there is a realist experience inside the decision-making processes that emphasizes logical analysis, data-driven decision-making, and efficiency. This has become useful for organizations that prioritize structured and formal approaches to problem-solving and resource allocation. This helps organizations make informed decisions based on objective information and maximize outcomes through effective planning and resource management. It can be very important to have an environment where everyone is on the page of having it down 100%, especially in specific professions.

The natural system recognizes the significance of human behavior and social interactions within organizations. This is where the human experience works best in the organization as it acknowledges that organizations have different individuals and groups with their own set of values, beliefs, and motivations. This is so important for organizations that value the informal aspects of their culture, such as fostering positive relationships, encouraging collaboration, and promoting open communication channels. It highlights the action of emotions and social dynamics in shaping organizational behavior and can help organizations create a supportive and engaging work environment that makes the organization a positive space.

The open system considers external environments and the need for adaptability as things change constantly. Organizations are influenced by factors beyond their control, such as market conditions, technological advancements, digital transformation, and societal changes. This is beneficial for organizations operating in dynamic and uncertain environments that can change frequently. It ensures organizations continuously scan the external environment to be flexible in their strategies and foster a culture of innovation. By embracing this system, organizations can proactively respond to changes, identify opportunities, and stay competitive. By understanding and applying these different perspectives, organizations can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their operations and make informed decisions.

In concluding, a balanced approach that incorporates elements from all three systems can help organizations operate more effectively and effectively. There are many different industries, professions, and organizations that have different styles that may require them to actively use one system over the other or a combination of them. There is, however, an understanding that these organizations use these systems to leverage rational decision-making, human behavior, and adaptability to navigate complex challenges, drive innovation, and achieve their goals.




Cheng, Y., & Fisk, A. (2022). Contingency theory informs relationship management: Exploring the contingent organization-public relationships (COPR) in a crisis of mainland China. Public Relations Review, 48(2), 102178. Links to an external site.

Greve, H. R., Rudi, N., & Walvekar, A. (2021). Rational fouls? loss aversion on organizational and individual goals influence decision quality. Organization Studies, 42(7), 1031-1051. Links to an external site.

Kalina, J. (2022). Decision making reflecting the fractalization of the society. Serbian Journal of Management, 17(1), 207-218. Links to an external site.

Onday, O. (2016). The relationship between concepts of rational, natural and open systems … Links to an external site.   

Ponsiglione, C., Cannavacciuolo, L., Primario, S., Quinto, I., & Zollo, G. (2021). The ambiguity of natural language as resource for organizational design: A computational analysis. Journal of Business Research, 129, 654-665. Links to an external site.

Power, D. J., Cyphert, D., & Roth, R. M. (2019). Analytics, bias, and evidence: The quest for rational decision making. Journal of Decision Systems, 28(2), 120-137. Links to an external site.

Yang, D., Battulga, A., & Rhee, M. (2022). An open system understanding of product innovation: Attention allocation, external information sources, and absorptive capacity. Systems (Basel), 10(5), 172. Links to an external site.

Kymberly Aviles


 Discussion Essay: Compare and Contrast Rational, Natural, and Open Systems of Organizations

Organizations can be conceptualized and analyzed through different theoretical frameworks that focus on various aspects of their structure, behavior, and relationship to the environment. The environment in which organizations operate could be more controllable, so flexibility is needed. However, without clear goals and efficient structures, organizations struggle. At the same time, the human element must be addressed in designing motivational systems and social arrangements. The three significant perspectives applied to understanding organizations are rational systems, natural systems, and open systems approaches. Each approach provides a distinct lens through which to view the nature of organizations and offers valuable, yet incomplete, insights. Hence, the strengths of each approach complement the others. This paper compares and contrasts the defining characteristics, relationships, theoretical viewpoints, and personal perspectives on organizations’ rational, natural, and open systems.

Defining Characteristics of Organizational Systems

Rational Systems

“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (King James Bible, 1769/2023 Proverbs 14:15).

The rational systems approach views organizations as collectives oriented towards specific goals and objectives. Rational systems are focused on productivity, efficiency, and accomplishing predefined outcomes and tasks (Junça Silva & Coelho, 2022). These systems have a formalized bureaucratic structure characterized by clear hierarchies, centralized authority, extensive rules and regulations, standardized procedures, and division of labor. In such organizations, work is divided into specialized roles, with precise definitions of responsibilities and authority along the chain of command. The specialization and division of labor allow for efficient coordination and oversight of activities aimed at goal accomplishment (Zorlu & Korkmaz, 2021). However, the emphasis on formal control mechanisms and impersonal roles creates an environment that does not prioritize individual needs or relationships between people, which connects to the natural systems perspective that offers a more humanistic lens.

Natural Systems

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (1st Corinthians 12:12).

Unlike the rigid and impersonal rational model, the natural systems approach sees organizations as organic systems comprising informal social networks and interpersonal relationships between individuals. Rather than roles and formal structures, the organization focuses on understanding human needs, facilitating cooperation through shared norms and values, and promoting greater employee satisfaction and engagement (Balakrishnan, 2023). Natural systems tend to have a flexible and adaptive organic structure that can change and evolve rather than bureaucratic control mechanisms. Resources flow informally between members based on collaborative initiatives rather than top-down allocation. This dynamic and informal nature focuses on the human element of organizations rather than predefined impersonal roles within a hierarchical machine (Zorlu & Korkmaz, 2021). However, the emphasis on internal human relations contrasts with the open systems view, which highlights the external environment.

Open Systems

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mathew 5:16).

The open systems approach argues that organizations constantly interact with their external environments. Organizations import resources like labor, capital, and raw materials from outside entities and transform them into goods or services to export to the environment (Tan et al., 2019). The focus of the organizations is on their adaptability toward the dynamic processes that enable alignment with changing environmental demands and contingencies. Organizations in this system are responsible for sensing changes in the environment, such as new technologies, competitors, or market forces, and adapting their structures and activities accordingly. Rather than the internal focus of rational and natural models, open systems highlight the permeable boundaries between organizations and their environments (Dalmer, 2022, p. 7). This perspective connects to contingencies in the external context that necessitate flexibility, innovation, and dynamic realignment within the organization.

Relationships Between Organizational Systems

Rational Systems’ Rigidity Versus Natural and Open Systems’ Flexibility

One significant difference between rational and natural/open systems is that rational models have a rigid and mechanistic structure, while natural and open models are more organic and flexible. The bureaucratic nature of rational systems relies on centralized authority, standard rules and procedures, and formal hierarchies that lend stability but restrict improvisation and adaptation (Haveman, 2022, p. 13). In contrast, natural systems can evolve informally based on human cooperation and needs (Balakrishnan, 2023). Open systems adapt based on environmental contingencies using dynamic processes (Tan et al., 2019). The flexibility in natural and open systems allows innovations in structure and processes when needed. This is despite the rational systems providing consistency in the execution of predetermined goals. Therefore, there is a tradeoff between rigidity and flexibility between the systems.

Natural Systems’ Humanistic Elements Versus Rational Systems’ Productivity

Another key contrast is that natural systems focus on the human side of organizations, while rational models focus on productivity, efficiency, and impersonal roles. The rational model treats humans as components within a machine optimized for maximum output and cost control. Natural systems recognize the social nature of organizations and seek to address human needs through shared values, employee empowerment, and satisfaction (Balakrishnan, 2023). However, the emphasis on human relations sometimes comes at the expense of efficiency, standardization, and consistent execution oriented toward organizational goals. For this reason, there are tensions between productivity-oriented and people-oriented models.

Open Systems’ Interaction with the Environment Versus Closed Rational and Natural Systems As Self-Contained

Finally, a significant difference lies in how open systems interact with the external environment, while rational and natural systems are more self-contained internally. Open systems recognize that organizations are in the business of importing resources, transforming them, and exporting the outputs into dynamic environments. This requires flexibility to adapt to external contingencies (Tan et al., 2019). Conversely, rational and natural systems focus on inward structures, productivity, human relations, and organizational culture with less emphasis on external alignment (Balakrishnan, 2023; Zorlu & Korkmaz, 2021). Still, no organization can survive in complete isolation from its environment. Therefore, all these organizations must balance internal capabilities and external responsiveness.

In reality, most organizations require a blend of rational, natural, and open systems. Consistent execution towards goals, efficiency, human relations, and environmental alignment are all crucial for a balance of organizational systems. The strengths of each perspective complement the others if integrated thoughtfully within an organizational system. This points to holistic thinking and avoiding false dichotomies.

 Theoretical Viewpoints on Organizational Systems

Scientific Management (Rational)

The rational systems view aligns with the principles of scientific management developed in the early 1900s that sought to analyze organizational processes scientifically to find the most efficient methods and enhance productivity (Hussain et al., 2019). Work was broken into specialized roles with straightforward procedures. Employees who worked hard enjoyed the labor since their rewards were tied directly to performance outputs. This embodied the rational bureaucratic approach focused on goals, structure, productivity, and roles over human relationships. Scientific management contributed to assembly lines and standardized mass production, which increased efficiency dramatically, though often at the expense of meaningful work.

Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy also took a rational system approach, emphasizing hierarchical authority, formal rules, and standard operating procedures as the most efficient way to govern organizations (Weber, 1922/2019, p. 12). Scientific principles were applied to find optimal organizational designs. Frederick Taylor built further on this through his influential principles of scientific management, which broke production into specialized repetitive tasks timed for maximum workflow efficiency. This refinement of rational-legal authority and focus on scientific precision exemplified the rational model.

Human Relations (Natural)

Further into the scientific management approaches, the human relations movement arose in reaction to the dehumanizing aspects of scientific management, emphasizing the natural systems view. Experiments at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works demonstrated that psychological and social factors like morale, peer interactions, and employee satisfaction impacted productivity (Ciardi & Scalzo, 2022). This led to a focus on informal group dynamics, leadership styles, and employee empowerment and engagement within natural systems. However, taken to extremes, prioritizing human elements over organizational goals and efficiency created issues in consistency. Later theoretical developments sought a balance between the two models.

Contingency Theory (Open)

Sociotechnical systems theory emerged as an open systems approach, arguing that groups should be designed to simultaneously fit both technological and human needs (Babüroğlu & Selsky, 2021). The external environment and technical workflow requirements impact the optimal group design rather than just abstract bureaucratic principles. This enabled customization and flexibility based on a contingent approach. Further open systems theories like systems theory and contingency theory also emerged to explain organizational adaptation to complex changing environments (Lartey, 2020). This signaled a movement towards integrating openness with internal organizational capabilities.

Moreover, modern approaches like the balanced scorecard combine rational and natural systems through measurement systems, simultaneously assessing productivity, efficiency, learning/growth, and customer satisfaction (De-Almeida-e-Pais et al., 2023). Additional Agile development methodologies take an open systems approach that emphasizes constant environmental scanning, flexibility, iteration, and adaptation in product development. Hybrid models allow leveraging the strengths of rational, natural, and open systems while mitigating their weaknesses. Thus, the evolution of management theory has oscillated between rational, natural, and open systems perspectives as organizations aim for the right equilibrium. This highlights the need for holistic and nuanced thinking regarding organizational design in practice.

Personal Perspectives on Organizational Systems

Rational Systems Are Efficient but Impersonal

Based on the analysis of rational, natural, and open systems, each has essential strengths and limitations that should be considered in organizational design. Rational systems provide consistency, stability, and efficiency through bureaucratic structures and control mechanisms. Standardization, specialization, and formal procedures allow organizations to produce goods and services reliably. However, taken to extremes, rational systems can become overly rigid, stifling innovation. Employees may feel disengaged and dissatisfied if treated as cogs within an impersonal machine optimized for productivity targets rather than human needs (Balakrishnan, 2023).

Natural Systems Support Employees but Lack Structure

Alternatively, natural systems offer a humanistic approach focused on employee engagement

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