Compare and contrast the overarching ideas of natural systems theory and open systems theory.


1. Compare and contrast the overarching ideas of natural systems theory and open systems theory.

Natural systems theory indicates that organizational members are members due to their commitment to attaining organizational goals. That is because there is a variation between the real and stated objectives the organization pursues (between the operational objectives being observed and the professed objectives that are announced) (Tompkins, 2004). The difference indicates that the real agreed-upon objective is a multifaceted series of objectives with varying meanings at different organizational levels. However, unlike the natural systems theory, the open systems theory indicates the impact of the environment on the business (Tompkins, 2004). Since all systems as shown in this are regarded as a blend of parts where its connection makes them co-dependent, there are several ways the environment is involved in the relationship. Firstly, the system transforms into organic or open system while process or walls do not restrain the organizational structure within the business. Secondly, the organization is infiltrated, supported, and shaped by the environment surrounding the business.

2.  Identify and explain the zones of indifference as explained by Chester Barnard.

Chester Barnards influential work focuses on compliance impulses in people and their inclination to contribute to the business instead of just responding to formal authority. Thus, the zone of indifference, according to Barnard, is a range or zone of activities that the manager gives that the worker is inclined to follow without judgment or reservation (Tompkins, 2004). An employee has certain expectations of his or her employer and there are certain contributions the worker is willing to provide to the boss. These contributions comprise quantity of applied talent and intensity of loyalty and skills. Activities beyond the zone of indifference need extra will or inducements before being conducted. A career growth and job security are examples of inducements.. However, Barnard is concerned that organizations can manipulate the zone of indifference by providing inducements that exceed sacrifices and burdens (Tompkins, 2004). Nonetheless, when the balance between burdens and inducements is negative, employees will behave in unreliable ways, malinger, or resign. To this end, that is why management that is coerced fails.  See for a detailed explanation.

3. What is structural-functional theory?

The goal of structural-functional theory is to address the structure based on their roles as it views society as a structure (the varying types of institutions, the roles that institutions play, and how they are vocalized). When he noticed the similarities between the human body and society, Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher and scientist, became the forerunner of structural-functional theory (Tompkins, 2004). It may be argued that many social groups collaborate to keep society working, just as various physical organs coexist peacefully to keep the body healthy. Societys social structure comprises certain components such as values, social norms, and social institutions that are symbiotic and interconnected. Each element has a specified objective and overall they provide a stable and balanced running of society.  Ref:

Emile Durkheim is a structural-functionalist who claims that incompatibility between social norms and the traditional belief systems can cause social change. However, he states that organic solidarity and mechanical solidarity are the two types of society that keep it intact (Tompkins, 2004). Primitive communities have mechanical solidarity as it lacks status differentiation and economic advancement. On the other hand, organic solidarity provides society with status differentiation and widespread division of labor. To this end, society needs functional differentiation because it brings people together and strengthens social solidarity.

4. Explain the contribution of Lewin and Likert to the field of organization theory.

Kurt Lewin is well known for proposing change management in the beginning of the 20th century. He is also among the first to study organizational development and explore group dynamics (Tompkins, 2004). He created a model with three stages of change (unfreezing, change process, and refreezing) to assess the process of change in the environment of the organization and to determine how to challenge the status quo to realize effective change. On the other hand, Rensis Likert proposed the management systems in the 1950s (Tompkins, 2004). He offers four management frameworks (participative, consultative, benevolent, and exploitative authoritative) to explain the duties, engagement, and interactions between management and workers in industrial contexts.

Conflicts and disagreements

When an employee alleges that he or she is being discriminated against because he or she has the same skills and experience as someone else, he or she is likely to be involved in an employment dispute. A direct or instantaneous link is not required. However, a workplace conflict is not always the result of a disagreement between coworkers of different races, sexes, or other differences; in fact, many such conflicts develop on a daily basis over personal matters and are not directly related to illegal discrimination. As a result, employment conflicts are distinct from workplace conflicts, which are characterized by the reality of dispute in the workplace rather than the legality of the conflict itself. Disputes in the workplace are most often between an individual and his or her employer over a specific decision, but they can also arise between groups of employees.

In order to have a bad relationship between an employer and an employee, there are many factors that contribute to it. Strikes, gherao, lockouts, and other industrial issues show that relations between employers and employees are far from ideal. Factors that contribute to poor employer-employee relations can be found in a wide range of areas.

Causes of the Economic Crisis

Poor salaries and working conditions are the primary causes of poor relations between management and workers. Other economic factors include unauthorized deductions from wages, a lack of fringe benefits, a lack of advancement chances, discontent with job evaluation and performance evaluation techniques, and flawed incentive schemes. Trade unions agitate and industrial peace is disrupted when businesses fail to pay workers fairly and provide them with decent working and living circumstances. Industrial conflict is exacerbated by a lack of suitable infrastructure, worn-out equipment, poor design, poor upkeep, and other physical and technological factors.

Causes in the Workplace

It is the organizational causes of poor relations in industry, such as a faulty communication system, dilution of supervision and command, the non-recognition of trade unions, unfair practices, and violations of collective agreements and standing orders as well as labor laws.

causes that benefit the greater good

The biggest societal reason is the boring nature of job. The factory system and specialization have made the worker a mere cog in the machinery. There is no longer any pride or satisfaction in the worker’s work. Employer-employee relations have been strained as a result of social tensions, the breakup of families, and a rise in intolerance. Industrial conflicts arise from dissatisfaction with one’s work and personal life.

Causes of Politics

Multiple trade unions, inter-union rivalry, and the political aspect of trade unions weaken the trade union movement. Collective bargaining is ineffective if there are no strong and accountable trade unions. As a strike committee, the union’s status has been relegated. The outsiders who become union leaders by making grandiose promises to workers demand too much from businesses. Disputes emerge when companies refuse to meet their expectations, which harms ties between employers and employees across the country.

Having a bad relationship between the employer and the employee can have a negative impact on everyone. Conflicts in the workplace limit labor productivity. Costs go up as a result of a decrease in productivity and quality. Employee turnover and absences rise as the workplace loses its sense of discipline. The collapse of industry has a negative impact on the working class. Getting better pay and working conditions is a major struggle for them. Many of them are demoted or fired as a result of this. According to these theories, Ferguson employees’ relations can be analyzed and relevant concepts may be applied to the company’s personnel.




Tompkins, J. R. (2004). Organization theory and  public management. Cengage Learning.

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