Organizations are at the heart of every nation. They are the means in which we are able to make a difference in our society and accomplish collective goals. Organizations are committed to stretch the vision creating new ground floor opportunities and are responsible for shaping the mind and also motivating, and bringing people together to accomplish collective goals. To truly understand the magnitude that organizations play in our lives, it is very important to study the perspectives on organizations. Three perspectives on organization that are described by Richard Scott are the rational system, the natural system, and the open systems perspectives. In a rational system perspective the most important characteristic of an organization is to accomplish specific solid goals, to follow the written rules and formal roles that help discover the optimum goal.
Blau and Scott discuss this idea that “the distinctive characteristic of organizations is that they have been formally established for the explicit purpose of achieving certain goals.” (Scott 25) For example, I am the Chairwoman of a womens organization here on campus, which our mission statement states that the optimum goal is to empower women. This indicates that our mental, physical and emotional energies and resources are focused entirely to provide a support system that enables women to come together and feel empowered. United Women is a collectively oriented organization that empowers women under a “formalized social structure.” (Scott 26) Scott also focused on the natural system perspective on organizations. According to Scott, natural systems are “collectives whose participants are pursuing multiple interests, both disparate and common, but recognize the value of perpetuating the organization as an important resource.” (Scott 26) Scott argues that the behavior of participants is not guided by the formal roles and written rules that have been stated by the organization. Instead, their own interests guide the participants behavior, although they do consider the organization important to fulfill their needs and interests. The non-profit organization, United Women, is not a sorority. There are no dues involved to be a member.
The constitution of the organization states, “to be considered an Active Member of United Women, one must complete five hours of community service and five hours of fundraising a quarter.” Even if you are not considered an “Active Member” you are always welcome to the weekly meeting. We strongly agree with our open door policy because we feel that those few members will participate because they want to participate not because they have to. The third perspective of an organization is the open system which Scott describes as a “system of interdependent activities linking shifting coalitions of participants; the systems are embedded in dependent on continuing exchanges with the constituted buy the environment in which they operate.” (Scott 28) An open system perspective is said by Scott to be dependent on bargains and exchanges and is representative of a given structure. Scott argues that the environment has an effect on the organization; there is a connection between the participant and the environment that surrounds them. The environment that the Executive Board Members of United Women provide for the General Body Members shapes most of their actions.
If the Executive Board is excited and are willing to participate in a community service event that is taking place on a Saturday morning at 7:00a.m., the larger the sign up list will be. During our general body meetings, the Executive Board Members will give their reports stating what events are coming up. It has come to my attention that if the Executive Board Member is enthusiastic about their report, the General Body Members show interest and seem highly motivated to participate. On the other hand, if the Executive Board Member is drab about their report, not much attention is paid to that event. The rational, natural, and open system perspectives are three diverse views of organizations that emphasize the different given sides of organizations. The rational system describes the organization to be focused on formal rules, and set goals.
The natural system perspective views organizations as a social system that participants are pursuing to accomplish their multiple goals. The third perspective, open system, views organizations as coalitions of participants with various interests that are influenced by the environments. These three views of perspectives on organizations help us analyze and understand the nature of organization.