Why Open Systems Theory?: The open systems approach has been chosen to study the above issues because it has been commended for its potential usefulness in "synthesizing and analyzing complexity" (Simon, 1969) in "live" organizations. Comprehension of a system cannot be achieved without a constant study of the forces that impinge upon it (Katz and Kahn, 1966). Leavitt, Pinfield and Webb (1974) also recommended an open- systems approach for studying contemporary organizations which now exist in a fast-changing and turbulent environment. Ramstrom (1974) propounds increased emphasis on systems thinking to comprehend the increased interdependencies between the system and its environment, and between the various parts of the system. Classical
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The open systems approach to complex organizations emphasizes the consideration of the relationship between a system and its environment as well as what goes on within the system (Hall, 1977). Baker (1973) notes that organizations are changed in the course of interacting with and adjusting to their environment and also change that environment. Since environmental dependency inhibits the organization's ability to function autonomously, it must manage such dependency to survive as an independent entity (Kotter, 1979). Organizations typically manage environmental dependency by establishing and maintaining resource exchanges with other organizations (Levine and White, 1961).
Emery and Trist (1965) argued the need for the concept of "the causal texture of the environment" noting that the environmental contexts in which organizations exist are themselves changing under the impact of technological change - at an ever-increasing rate, and toward increasing complexity. Emphasizing the need for considering the processes in the environment itself which are the determining conditions of the exchanges, they offered a typology of four "ideal types" of environment and discussed the effect of differing environmental conditions upon an organization existing in each type of environment. In the context of formal organizations, they offer the general proposition: that a comprehensive understanding of organizational behavior requires some knowledge